Carla and I looked at each other in total amazement. Incredible! We had parked close to what we thought would take us to the Elisabeth Cummings new exhibition, we were in fact parked outside Watters. We glimpsed large moody blue works through the rain. Once we were in we looked round, looked at each other, noses dripping cold winter rain and both said “It’s Euan!” Better than that, it was the wonderful oil smell that felt as welcoming as a pot of soup.
The works were epic. Named GLACIAL these paintings reflected the stark intensity of icy waters. Some imense and others small acrylic on paper, but all were as wonderful as the next. It was hard for me to choose any work over the other but there was something especially haunting for me in Dark Figure/Milky Sea. Perhaps the cold yellow light or the semi-immersion of the dark figure. The landscape so starkly beautiful but treacherous, it’s that old pleasure and pain, beauty and the beast. Artists who can see the light in the darkness are the ones that seem to pull through the work. We had just seen the Paths to Abstraction show at AGNSW and there was that familiarity of early Whistler works in the exhibition that I felt had a connection with this particular series of works by Euan MacLeod.
I admire Euan MacLeod not only for his capacity for paint but for his continued trek to source new material and to gift it to us through his works. And our highlight of the trip? A myriad of wonderful old Watters catalogues for sale. Tuckson, Whisson, MacLeod. I was absolutely astounded when I came across one catalogue “SLASREVER/REVERSALS” Philip Guston & Tony Tuckson. Certainly worth being drenched.