Euan Macleod won the Archibald Prize in 1999 with his self-portrait Head like a hole and the Sulman Prize in 2001. Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1956, he came to Australia in 1982 and has since had numerous exhibitions in both countries. He recently organised an exhibition of Australian art in Wellington, which included the work of Tom Carment.
Carment and Macleod met around 12 years ago through Carment’s partner Jan. ‘He’s now one of my best friends in the art scene,’ says Carment. ‘I like his work a lot and he’s a very big-hearted person. We play friendly soccer on Sundays and he said to me, “Why don’t you paint me?”’ Carment painted two portraits and wasn’t quite sure which one to enter. Macleod liked both (in fact, he is planning to buy this one) and so they asked close friends which they liked best. Most plumped for this one.
Carment always paints from life. This portrait was painted over three sittings – ‘though the last sitting was putting in a semi-colon and taking it out again as Oscar Wilde said. It’s a challenge to paint someone you know well and I think he’s got quite a changeable appearance,’ says Carment.
Born in Sydney in 1954, Carment studied at the Julian Ashton Art School. He has been hung in the Archibald Prize on six previous occasions, in the Wynne Prize five times and has won the Waverley Art Prize three times.