King Street Gallery on William

Euan Macleod

The Zoo Part 1

6 February - 2 March, 2024

Euan and I have been friends for many years. We first worked together on a series of paintings when we did the Hong Kong suite in 2019–2020. That series surprised us both, with the outcome of several paintings that elevated above our expectations. 

We carried this way of working into the Dubbo Zoo series, discussing each other’s work and making suggestions (OK, yours is bigger than mine).

Macleod’s current suite of small studies and paintings came out of a period of COVID-19 lockdown for Euan, a time when we were all challenged by extreme isolation and restricted freedoms. Euan and I would go for walks and discuss our latest work, flinging off the bloody face masks when we were in the open air. 

The paintings we developed in response to Dubbo Zoo were concerned with the animals’ point of view from their imprisoned existence within the zoo compound, and from observing humans in the fabricated wild. 

Euan’s zoo works in this current exhibition examine in depth the animals in their enclosures. His marvellous zebras within cages, themselves stripes, resonate feelings of entrapment in today’s world. His way of working is immediate and he has an ability to empathise with the animals’ condition. His monkey studies convey a sense of freedom within their enclosure.

His spontaneous eruption of smudges and dirty colours more often than not produce a painting of extreme sensitivity and beauty – one can almost hear the animals breathe.

-Rodney Pople, Artist, 2024