Euan Macleod  
 

EXPLORATION
Watters Gallery
18th June to 5th July 2014

Euan Macleod is an artist who makes sense of his surroundings through his work. Having accompanied my father on countless trips over the last 27 years I am struggling to recall a single one where his art materials did not come out, often within the first hour of arrival. He doasn't need a studio; a sketchbook and biro will appear on the passenger seat of the car or in a café, pastels and paper overtake hotel balconies and beach towels. And these were just the family holidays. On trips with other artists, with a full range of materials at his disposal, he will paint canvas after canvas, managing to acutely capture the spirit of a place he has only briefly inhabited.

Euan is never in one place for long. The works in 'Exploration' draw from trips taken over the past year, throughout New Zealand, Italy and Australia - from Haast's Bluff to the Aeolian Islands. At the same time they are of "no specific place". Back home in the studio, he may recall elements from his many travels and include them in one work, resulting in the often otherworldly places taht feature in the painting. These are spaces of extremes, landscapes that have been pared back to their essential forms as heightened atmospheric conditions or striking geographical formations take to the fore. Rushing rapids are juxtaposed with arid deserts, glaciers with fire. Save for a dinghy or two there are no built structures, suggesting lands outside of history and of time.

In these paintings, the ubiquitous figure is actively engaged in the landscape. In past works these figures have tended to be more shadowy presences, quietly observing or striding across the picture plane. Here, they leap across rapids, dig holes and tend to fires. Kitted out with backpacks and head torches, they are exploring the earth in all it's facets. They climb mountains and dig through caverns. When faced with physical obstacles they overcome them. These are true explorers, but towards what purpose they are working we do not know. They could be figures from the past searching for unseen lands, or the remaining populations of a post-apocalyptic future searching for inhabitable areas. The ambiguity inherent in Euan's work is what makes it so interesting, and the search for interpretation makes explorers of us all.

Bridget Macleod
Sydney, 2014

Contact Watters gallery for further information.

 

 
Figure With Shovel Haasts Bluff Above Glacial Lake Crossing River Below Mountains Looking At Sunken Boat Ikuntji Figure
Painter On Orange Haasts Bluff Above White Island Walking/Headlands Figures In Cavern Painting On Orange
Digging Lyttelton Harbour Night Scene (With Headlamp) On Rock In River Walking Down River Child In River
In Rain Above Island Yellow Smoking Landscape (With Shovelman) Lighting Fire (Christian) Smoke On Back (Christian) Walking Dog - Grey Beach
Shovelman With Barrow In Smoking Landscape Square Glacial Lake Figure In Smoke (Horizontal) Study Figures In Cavern Floating World
 
Above Water Filled Crater Study Sitting In River Cave Study Cave Study With Shoveller Study Night Scene (With Headlamp)
 
White Table Study Haasts Bluff Jump/River Study Smoking Landscape Crossing River Study Figure In Light
 
Petone Figure Sunshine Coast 1 Sunshine Coast 2 Sunshine Coast 3 Sunshine Coast 4

 

 

EUAN MACLEOD - The Painter in the Painting
Tauranga Art Gallery, Toi Tauranga

16th October 2014 to 22nd February 2015

Although he has been based in Sydney for more than 30 years, Euan Macleod has constantly returned to the country of his birth, making art and exhibiting there. Alongside Australian images, this exhibition features works inspired by the Bay of Plenty, Lyttelton Harbour, and the Southern Alps.

Born in Christchurch in 1956, Macleod's works explore states of youth and ageing, the relationship between the human body and environment, and the process of memory and forgetting.

Featuring 50 works spanning 1984 to 2014 this is the first major survey of Macleod's work to be shown in New Zealand.

In the Gallery Atrium Macleod will be presenting a new work, “Out of which arising: White Island”, the largest he has produced to date.