Peter Tomasek

"I am more than guilty of verbally illustrating my desire to visit Australia a plethora of times throughout my short lifetime and am sincerely grateful to admit that I still do not feel as though I have quenched that desire. However, I now know that a visit to Australia would have been an extreme disappointment. Throughout my brief stay I did so much more than simply visit. I have captured, I have dreamt, I have learned, I have loved, I have hated, and, most importantly, I have grown.

Living in a small town in Michigan, the shelter that I have created and strengthened has been completely shattered. I came prepared to work hard, make friends, have a good time, and get a good mark. I wrap up my venture having completed all of those tasks, pending on the mark, but those are not why my trip has changed me. My new appreciation for nature, beauty, and art from various perspectives guided me more than any tour guide ever could.

My cynical approach was dramatically reinforced thanks to rides by bus for hours on end, nights in chilled rooms that did not resemble Comfort Inn by any means, and comments by fellow classmates that were not quite Einstein-esque. Pessimistically, I set out with woebegone thoughts soaring through my mind, Canon Rebel Xsi in hand. Every evening I would return to my solitary room at the hostel and bask in the loneliness created for and by me. However, the more misanthropic, lonely, and disheartened my thoughts became, the more beauty seeped through the pages of my artwork. Photography served as a panacea; it remedied my mood and brought a smile to the face of a thriving pessimist. When my photographs run through my mind, I do not see any kangaroos, emus, or pretty flowers, but instead I see artwork defining ‘melancholy abandonment’ challenged by ‘glowing intoxication’.

When looking at me, people notice a smile, a rather bright collage of colours, and a sarcastic comment slipping off the tongue every second; a deeper look reveals works of art with dark and moody tones that I truly adore.

Nearly three weeks ago, I left home ready to partake in a vacation bathed in pictures, but I return having endured an emotional, obstacle-filled journey with no pictures, but rather true art. Not so ‘obvi’, eh?"