Wild Flower, Zachari Logan
Canada Gallery reopens its door with an exhibition by Saskatchewan-based artist, Zachari Logan, featuring 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 Regina. He has drawn them triumphantly arranged in a stone urn, elevated to high status. This change of context is typical of Logans’ work and he often shifts context and a sense of place to change and extend meaning. What may appear to be just like a bunch of flowers, has deep, wild depths.
Along side three monumental pastel on paper works, Zachari Logan has included two distinct series of highly details 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, and he has created 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 who is a self-portrait hybrid and who casts spells to maintain the delicate balance between man and nature. The figure of his Wild Man is inspired by Renaissance engravings and in particular the etchings of Martin Schongauer.