Wild Flower: Zachari Logan at Canada Gallery
A partnership with New Art Projects, London
Canada Gallery Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5BJ
Curated by Fred Mann
June 28 – September 18, 2021
Mon – Sat 11.00am – 5.45pm
For his exhibition at Canada Gallery, Saskatchewan-based artist, Zachari Logan, has combined key elements of his practice. Logan has always seen nature and the body as both inextricably linked and interchangeable. The forms of flowers and foliage in his exquisite drawings can ‘stand in’ for the human body and for human emotions. In some of his works metamorphosis takes place, and the body changes into nature, and vice versa. However we are not talking about flower arrangements in a vase of carefully cultivated blooms.
Zachari Logan is wild. The flowers and plants he is drawing have come up the hard way and have led interesting lives. Whatever humans have built, these plants have found a way through the concrete, finding and exploiting cracks to get to light and water, to thrive and grow. Whatever we do, we cannot hold these plants back. In these works the flowers stand in for liberation, freedom and diversity.
These blooms are also very Canadian. In the large pastel ‘Still Life in a Ditch’, Logan has collected all the plants that he could find growing wild by the side of the road around his hometown, Regina. He has drawn them triumphantly arranged in a stone urn, elevated to high status. This change of context is typical of Logan’s work and he often shifts context and a sense of place to alter and extend meaning. What may appear to be just like a bunch of flowers, has deep, wild depths.
Alongside three monumental pastel on paper works, Zachari Logan has included two distinct series of highly detailed pencil drawings. Firstly: the drawings in ‘Spaces Between’ are part of a continued exploration of the spaces represented by wild self-seeding gardens. Logan seeks to articulate these landscapes with meaning and perception, memory and the queer body. The roadside ditch containing wild flower species remains a metaphor for sites of resistance to both monoculture and conformity, and the cultivated garden is represented as a collaborative effort, as an amalgamation of wild impulses and human desire.
The second shows his response to the COVID pandemic, a series of works based around the advice “go back inside”. For these works he has combined his signature flowers with skeletons, and depicted a magical Wild Man, a figure inspired by Renaissance engravings and, in particular, the etchings of Martin Schongauer. This Wild Man, a self-portrait hybrid, maintains the delicate balance between man and nature by casting spells.