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Ewan McDougall, Happiness Stan, 2021, oil on canvas

Ewan McDougall:
Freed Up in Lockdown

23 July - 18 September 2022

The Gallery is delighted to welcome back Dunedin artist Ewan McDougall. Born in Wellington, McDougall’s family later moved to Oamaru where he was educated at Waitaki Boys High School and taught art by Colin Wheeler. He attended Otago University while also working in freezing works and drumming in rock bands. There he gained an Honours Degree in Political Studies (1971), and worked as a junior lecturer and tutor. Over the next decade he travelled extensively, returning to New Zealand in the early 1980’s with his partner, writer Sarah McDougall. In 1988 he began painting full-time.


When the first Covid-19 lockdown arrived in March 2020, Ewan and Sarah McDougall were content, as they had ample time to devote to their mahi - Ewan to paint and Sarah to write. Ewan and Sarah’s home, located in Broad Bay, in Otago Harbour, became even more tranquil and energetic. All of the paintings in Freed Up In Lockdown were completed during and after lockdown, although not all specifically relate to Covid-19. The works are a distillation of McDougall’s intense period of creativity, when the oil paint flew liberally onto the canvas every day. True to McDougall’s style, the paintings are vibrant and witty.

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