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Australian art

Contemporary art

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Two up, two down



Euan MacLeod

New Zealand, Australia

1956 -


'I was thinking at one stage about that relationship with the figure and the landscape - thinking how will I do this without the figure? The obvious way was to use a metaphor for the figure. I thought "I'll use a boat". Why did I choose a boat? Because of my father on one level, and I love the shape of the boat and I love painting water. It's hard to separate it out - what's conscious, what's unconscious.' (Euan Macleod to Gavin Wilson in Surface tension, the art of Euan Macleod 1991-2009, Tweed River Art Gallery, 2010, Murwillumbah, p 7)

Euan MacLeod is an established New Zealand/ Australian artist who has lived, worked and taught in Sydney since 1981. MacLeod's paintings and prints characteristically feature landscapes patrolled by lonesome figures often executed from memory in an expressionistic manner. 'Two up, two down' 2004 is a large-scale four-panelled painting whose compelling coastal/domestic imagery relates to the artist's hometown of Lyttleton Harbour, New Zealand, and his eccentric boat building father who suffered from Alzheimer's disease and died in 1993. Rich in personal mythology and symbolism this picture represents a psychological as well as a literal environment, which explores the human condition and our relationship with nature.


Other Title

Two up, Two down



Media category


Materials used

oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas


200.0 x 248.0 cm overall stretcher

Signature & date

Signed and dated u.r. verso on canvas [part d], red pencil "EUAN MACLEOD/ 2005".


Gift of Patrick Corrigan 2013. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Euan MacLeod

Works in the collection


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 3 publications


Gregory O'Brien, Euan MacLeod: the painter in the painting, 'Lyttleton Harbour and other excavations', pg. 37-58, Dawes Point, 2010, 50-51 (colour illus.).

Watters Gallery (Compilator), Euan MacLeod: new paintings, Sydney, 2005, n.pag.. 7; priced $30,000

Gavin Wilson, Surface tension: the art of Euan MacLeod 1991-2009, 'Surface tension: the art of Euan MacLeod 1991-2009', pg. 4-8, Murwillumbah, 2010, 7 , 32 (colour illus.), 51.