3 Nov 2022
27 Nov 2022
June Macleod & Euan Macleod
Creativity has often appeared hereditary in nature, with a combination of genes and environment fostering artistic ability passed down through families. Natural Succession is a striking case in point, presenting as it does a retrospective of works by local watercolourist, June Macleod, and contemporary paintings inspired by her from her son, the award winning Sydney-based artist, Euan Macleod. Before them, June’s father and Euan’s grandfather, Herbert Macleod was a master wood turner, whose projects included work on the interior of Christchurch Cathedral. June and Euan have had one previous exhibition together in the 1990s at Wellington’s Bowen Galleries. It seems fitting that at this time of June’s life, many examples of her arresting works are exhibited together as a comprehensive body of work. It is also a completion of the current family circle that she and Euan, who have been each other’s great admirers over the decades, should be exhibiting together once more.
The exhibition provides a retrospective of the work of June Macleod, who was born in Christchurch in 1931 and painted until her eighties. After taking an art course through the Wellington Correspondence School as a young mother, and studying watercolour under respected local painter, Joy Simmons she went on to show her work in many group exhibitions. June’s main focus was landscapes, especially those around Arthur’s Pass. More recently, it was those of Diamond Harbour and Church Bay where she lived until 2021, surrounded by the beautiful garden that inspired her later closely observed iris and rose paintings.
Born in Christchurch in 1956, Euan Macleod completed a Diploma of Fine Arts (Painting) at the University of Canterbury, before moving to Sydney in 1981. Throughout his career, both Euan’s work and exhibitions have traversed the land and landscapes of his birthplace and adopted home. His work is held in public collections - from the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne) to the Metropolitan Museum, New York - and won numerous awards, including Australia’s prestigious Archibald Prize. His work has been documented in the book, Euan Macleod—the Painter in the Painting by Gregory O’Brien (Piper Press, 2010). He regularly explores relationships between humanity and the environment, and the processes of memory and forgetting that shape people and places. In this exhibition, his mother, June becomes the human figure of his latest works, walking through the landscapes central to her life.