Contemporary Canadian Artist Zachari Logan first came to my attention some 7 years ago whilst compiling the first ever issue of OutThere Magazine. His immediately struck a chord with me, his incredible draftsmanship combined with his ability to mix mythology and symbolism which ‘explores the intersections between masculinity, identity, memory and place’ creating powerful dreamlike images that stayed with me, drawing me back to them time and time again.
His latest show WREATH – at Fred Mann’s Hackney gallery New Arts Project is no less compelling. Logan explores their layered meanings in his characteristic spellbinding attention to detail. Drawing upon botanical illustration and his own self-portraiture.
“An image of a wreath is a common symbol linking remembrance and human memory to the human body. It can symbolize desire, celebration, loss and the great and leveling truths that delineate the limitations of human endeavor. The circle in art draws a line between the interior and the external world and the wreath, an elaborated circle, is a symbol of the human need to visualize longevity and continuation.
The drawings in this exhibition are meditations on grief but also function to question grief itself. Here the wreath becomes a vessel for absence, a symbol of silence, an absence that is ever-present, yet not often discussed.
Formally, the wreath or circle also suggests a visual reference to the human body, the sensual zone of the mouth, making an “O” as suggested in the drawing “Mouth 2, from Wild Man Series”. In the drawing “Wreath, Pentacle” Logan draws his own naked body repeatedly, intertwined in the leaves of the wreath extending portraiture to the surreal, in a Continuation of his dialogue with the queer body politic.
Engaging personal explorations of landscape and overlapping art-historic motifs, these highly worked drawings in both pastel and blue pencil combine botanical observation with high Victorian aestheticism and romanticism. Each of these works and are a reconsideration of the Victorian tradition of memento mori made fashionable by Queen Victoria.”
In conjunction with WREATH, on Saturday 19th November and Sunday 20th November from 12 – 5pm Logan will be executing a ‘drawing performance’ continuing his 49 Flowers series. Where members of the public were invited to select a cut flower from a large floral arrangement and sit with the artist for a fifteen-minute portrait-drawing session. Logan will then draw the flower as a portrait of the bearer. Logan’s goal to produce forty-nine drawings to commemorate the lives of those lost in the recent Orlando tragedy. These drawings will then be shown at New Arts Project and sold to benefit the families of the victims.
Zachari Logan’s WREATH is at New Arts Project
(Private view 6pm – 8:30pm Thursday 17th Nov 2016)
Show runs from Friday 18 Nov 2016 to Thursday 22 Dec 2016