'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.
Two up, Two down
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
© Euan MacLeod
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Euan MacLeod: new paintings, Watters Gallery, East Sydney, 18 May 2005–11 Jun 2005
The big picture, Trinity Delmar Gallery, 14 Mar 2006–02 Apr 2006
Surface tension: the art of Euan MacLeod 1991-2009:
- S.H. Ervin Gallery, The Rocks 12 Nov 2010–19 Dec 2010
- Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Murwillumbah 28 Jan 2011–27 Mar 2011
- Orange Regional Gallery, Orange 29 Apr 2011–12 Jun 2011
- Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Mornington 30 Jun 2011–07 Aug 2011
- Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Newcastle 27 Aug 2011–16 Oct 2011
- University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane 29 Oct 2011–11 Dec 2011
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.).
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.
Euan MacLeod: new paintings, Sydney, 2005, n.pag.. cat.no. 7; priced $30,000