Rare London show from English ‘national treasure’ Andrew Logan, seeks to create a temple of love (and optimism) from yesterday’s junk.
Encompassing sculpture, mosaic, drawing, jewellery, costume and performance, Andrew Logan’s art exists on a joyous, lunatic fringe of the contemporary art world and serves more as a manifesto for living than any response to current trends.
Logan first began making waves in seventies London with riotous, seriously un-serious performance-parties that continue to appear every few years in the theatrical form of his ‘Alternative Miss World’ events. An influence on the early career of filmmaker Derek Jarman, and long-time collaborator with fashion maverick Zandra Rhodes, Logan celebrates the possibilities of transformation in all his work.
With ‘Rejoice’ at Flowers East Gallery – his first prominent London show for several years – this theme manifests in abstract 3D ‘landscapes’ of glittering, spewing flux; in tunnels of mirrors; the odd perky Pegasus for true believers; and in portraits that assert the iconic status of friends such as Jarman and Rhodes.
The homage to the latter, a shiny, sculptural portrait, made of mirrored glass and studded with jewels, is big enough to serve as some sort of Pagan altar: ‘Zandra, Queen of Noncomformia’ maybe. Like most of the exhibition it’s bright, bold and made of broken pieces. Fantastical busts built from reclaimed junk (Logan was a trailblazer for skip-surfing) further contribute to a sense that you’re looking at booty from the wrecked temple of a parallel universe.
Taken piece by glued together piece, this playful, surreal (and at times a little slap-dash) art is not necessarily built to last robust critical inspection. But then it’s also not the kind of art that an artist is ‘supposed’ to make and, at the opening private view and party, that outsider quality was infectiously uplifting.
Grand seer Logan (radiant in top-to-toe yellow) led an ensemble performance of costumed dancers that was equal parts carnival of the elements, crazed village fair and Mother Nature-worshiping ritual. Friends and fans such as Michael Costiff, Pam Hogg, Adamski, actress Rula Lenska and artist Duggie Fields were among the untypically open and upbeat art party-goers, many of whom wore Logan’s signature, mirrored jewellery.
The combined effect was a memorable, life-affirming, one-of-a-kind evening – certainly, a peek inside the dream-world of this true English outsider is far from dull. But without Logan and his tribe of friends, who gladly let him play catalyst to their cult of optimism, this place of worship might feel a tad breezy – particularly for glass half-empty types.
Artist Konrad Wyrebek, Karolina Wyrebek and fashion designer Pam Hogg
Michael Davis, writer Matthew Miles and artist Andrew Logan
Words by MATTHEW MILES.
*Matthew Miles is an arts and culture writer and video producer. To see more of his work visit www.matthewmilescreative.blogspot.com