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Q & A with Euan Macleod July 2019


If you could meet any artist alive or dead who would it be?
A lot of the artists I really admire, especially from the past, such as Goya, sound as if they were particularly dark people and not the nicest people to meet!  
I’m lucky that I’ve met a lot of artists that I really admire in Australia and have found the best artists to be very down to earth people with nothing to prove. 


What prompted your move to Sydney in 1981?
The reasons for coming to Sydney were based more on experiencing a different city. New Zealand at that time felt very insular. 
I came with my now wife Susan, and although we only intended to stay for a year or so there was a lot about Sydney, especially the art scene, I really liked. The temporary became permanent. 


You work with all kinds of materials and mediums, what is your favourite artistic tool and/or method?
I do love to use different media, one reason being that you develop a repetitiveness that can become a bit boring if you use the same materials all the time,  and I like to have something to push against. 
The bottom line is I see tools and materials as a means to an end and that the result is the important bit.


What artist would you say influenced you the most?
Without a doubt Goya, but many people have influenced me and continue to influence me. I particularly admire artists who keep pushing their work and always seeing the possibilities of taking it further. 


Many of your works feature figures in the landscape near or wading through water – what coastlines inspire you?
It’s true that where the water meets land I find particularly evocative, probably through having grown up in NZ where you are always so close to the coast. 
A lot of my paintings are based around Lyttelton Harbour near Christchurch where I grew up. 


Your current exhibition at King St Gallery on William, “Belle Ile” with Luke Sciberras already has many red stickers. What was the best (and worst) part about travelling with Luke?
Luke has the ability to keep everyone entertained and lighten any social awkwardness amongst the various people on artists trips. Usually artists are a bit stressed by what they’ll be able to produce and how they’ll deal with what is often a new environment. He can diffuse any tension and make the trip an immensely enjoyable experience for everyone.

The worst thing – unfortunately he’s always collecting dead things to paint (and possibly later cook) such an octopus and a seagull. These could be lying around for a couple of days!


What is your next project?
At the moment my main focus is on an exhibition planned for September at SH Ervin Gallery dealing with the terrible plight of the Darling River. I went on a trip to Wilcannia with a group of other participating artists, including Luke, a month or so ago and found the experience incredibly somber but the kind of theme and environment I seem to thrive on. 


What do you never leave the house without?
There are a few things I try not to leave the house without such as wallet, (sadly) my mobile phone and (fortunately) my trousers. I did leave home without my trousers once when I got locked out by mistake. 


When did you know you wanted to be an artist? 
I always wanted to be an artist before I knew what that meant or that you could be one… that there were such things. I always loved and had a need to express myself visually.


Do you remember meeting Lucio for the first time? How did it go?
I have to say one of the most enjoyable things for me about eating at Lucios is Lucio himself. He is such a warm, welcoming and enthusiastic person that you feel as if you’ve always known him. I had heard about him and the restaurant before I actually meet him but can’t actually remember the first time.  It was probably through Luke.


What’s your favourite dish at Lucio’s?
I have many favourite dishes but often try the ‘specials’ –  always sensational, and the pastas, but my total favourite (especially if I’m feeling very hungry) is the duck! 


Other than your own, of course, what is your favourite artwork at Lucio’s?
I don’t know if I want to choose a particular favourite art work amongst the many that I love, especially as if I didn’t choose one of Luke’s I’d get into serious trouble. 
It’s a fantastic experience being able to spend time with art works as you dine. I think it’s a subtle but great way for work to get under your skin. Art and food /wine are such a wonderful combination.
Congratulations Lucio and all the staff on such a fabulous establishment, a very special place. 

Q&A with Euan Macleod

Euan & Luke’s current exhibition is at King Street Gallery on William until July 6 2019


Euan Macleod
Looking out sea cave Belle lle 2019
oil on acrylic on polyester