Spirit Ship II, by Fine Arts student Scott MacLeod. He will be
performing A Brief Canadian History at Hurleys Irish Pub, located
at 1225 Crescent St, this Thursday, March 14, 6-8:30 p.m.
by Anna Bratulic
One day in 1989, Scott MacLeod, devastated by a personal tragedy, walked
out of Concordia and flunked out of university. He had been pursuing a
Fine Arts degree with a specialization in printmaking and was close to
completing it when his fathers death in a plane crash made coping
with the occupations of student life seem trivial.
MacLeod spent the next 12 years making his living singing, playing guitar
in pubs and selling his paintings mostly landscapes, which he doesnt
seem particularly fond of doing, but thats what people seem to want,
he says. He has assembled quite a CV list of exhibits and art residencies
around the world, including Spain, Ireland, Austria and Italy. It wasnt
always easy; he admits to having had to go to food banks.
Last fall, he returned to Concordia to finish his Fine Arts degree. At
37, MacLeod seems like a keen student, the kind who often chats with his
professors after class.
Many teachers had said to me, Scott, just get the BA, its
always a stepping stone. In my experience, I cant stress enough
the importance of having an undergraduate degree. I think it really is
a necessary tool in your kit. I know it wasnt the attitude I had
at the time. Maybe thats the good thing about getting older. You
start to see the purpose in things, whereas when youre young, youre
a little more reckless about your future.
Ill never say should have, could have, would have.
Im just doing it and its been a real pleasure to come back
here, because a lot of the academic courses Im doing now, electives
like Early Medieval History and Irish History, relate to my research,
MacLeods work, both as a musician and as a painter, is heavy with
history. He credits his grandfather, a history teacher and Scottish culture
buff who found out that the Scottish name MacLeod is actually of Norse
descent, for the genesis of his latest project.
Ancestral Homes is a series of paintings that traces his lineage
from Scandinavia to the Hebrides of Scotland to Cape Breton, where his
ancestors settled in the 1800s. The works will be exhibited this summer
as part of a travelling exhibit at the Swedish American Museum Centre
in Chicago, and then at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle early next
MacLeod also recently recorded A Brief Canadian History, a CD with
catchy songs about many aspects of Canadiana, from the life of Louis Riel
to Quebecs language laws. The CD is part of a larger educational
package that takes MacLeod to schools to perform the songs and answer
While he mulls over whether to pursue a masters, he doesnt
think hes spreading himself too thin.
Im a believer in the Renaissance approach. I think you can
do many things and they support each other. If you look at Da Vinci, he
was an architect, a painter, a scientist he had all kinds of interests.
And I dont think thats reserved for just great men and women.
Scott MacLeods website is www.macleod9.com.