Like A Bulwark – Euan Macleod & Gregory O’Brien

Meretoto and Beyond - solo and collaborative paintings by Euan Macleod & Gregory O'Brien

Euan Macleod, Gregory O'Brien
21 May-25 June 2023

Preview: Artists' talk June 11 at 3pm 

Notions of shelter, protection and preservation permeate these paintings, like a bulwark perhaps, a retaining or protective wall in these times of troubling natural and human history. Thinking too, after a trip to Meretoto/Ship Cove, of the bulwark on Cook's ships, and his voyages, their consequences, the paintings explore a number of coastal subjects/locations, on both sides of Cook Strait and beyond, history and futures. (more information below images)

Now, Macleod and O’Brien move from the historical to issues of our own time, seeking ways forward. These works are compelling, particularly the collaborations which meld their divergent approaches to challenge the viewer to think again, and again. O’Brien describes it as ‘a painterly manner (Euan’s) alongside my graphic approach… his work is visceral, mine cerebral. Such contradictions fuel our ongoing project, forcing both of us to step outside our comfort zone.’

Some works arose from their Marlborough Sounds trip as part of The Diversion’s Meretoto project in October, and were initiated or completed during a short collaborative residency at that time – the Godfrey Cheathem Arts Residency in Marlborough, an initiative of the Elworth family.
A few unframed works are also available to view on request.

Born in Christchurch, Euan Macleod has lived in Sydney since 1981, but maintains close links with his homeland, frequently travelling, working and exhibiting here. Wellington-based poet, painter, printmaker Gregory O’Brien is also a celebrated arts writer and curator, and has exhibited widely in New Zealand, both solo and collaborative works.