The Art of Reflection - Andrew Logan

Report by Luke Singleton

Andrew Logan’s retrospective exhibition The Art Of Reflection, opening on July 1 at Buckland Abbey in Devon, is the largest ever collaboration between an artist and the National Trust. Covering nearly 5 decades of the artist’s work, 18 large-scale sculptures are displayed both inside the 700 year-old abbey and outside in the grounds until February 2018.

Andrew Logan is renowned for his influential Alternative Miss World pageants which began in 1972 and have been staged sporadically ever since including most recently Shakespeare’s Globe in 2014. Having trained in architecture, Logan’s early work included an installation of outsized roses for the roof garden of the legendary Biba flagship store in High Street Kensington.

Logan’s sculptures can be found in galleries and museums world-wide including the V&A, National Portrait Gallery and Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art in New York. At Buckland Abbey, artworks both blend in with the grandeur of their surroundings and offer a spectacular contrast.

The Universe Throne was created for the 2004 Alternative Miss World at The Hippodrome in Leicester Square, London. The theme was the Universe and the event was dedicated to Andrew’s parents. Logan started creating thrones in the mid 80’s as part of his fascination with crowning rituals. At Buckland Abbey, members of the public can experience theAlternative Miss World as they’re invited to sit on Andrew Logan’s Universe and Elements thrones.

Photograph: Steve Haywood/National Trust

Life and Oomph from 2013 will be seen at Buckland’s Tower Crossing. This was the last large scale sculpture created at Logan’s Glasshouse - the Bermondsey studio that he and his architect partner Michael Davies lived and worked in for 25 years. This was a piece that evolved over time, taking approximately 5 years to complete. It has never been exhibited. When asked to explain the piece, Logan describes it as depicting “life’s ups and downs”. Life and Oomphfeatures an image of Lynn Seymour, former principal ballerina at the Royal Ballet and a close friend of Logan’s.

Photograph: Steve Haywood/National Trust

Originally exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1976,Goldfield consists of 72 individual wheat stalks, butterflies and a family of field mice. The accompanying music is by Emmy award-winning composer Richard Hartley and at the original opening, the Rocky Horror Show’s Little Nell tap danced through the giant wheat stalks. The butterflies from the original installation were lost or destroyed so Andrew has created new ones, inspired by the Observer Book of British Butterflies.

Photograph: Steve Haywood/National Trust

Photograph: Steve Haywood/National Trust

Excalibur, a giant mirrored sword, rises from the Abbey’s Cart Pond. First shown in Henley in 1984, Logan createdExcalibur from the base of the wings of his Monument to Hope Pegasus (see photo below, taken by Robyn Beeche). “The structure of the sword was going to be the base of the wing, but it was too heavy, so I rejected it” says Logan “And I thought ‘Oh I’ll make a sword’, and one thing flowed to another”.

The Art Of Reflection runs from July 1 until February 2018. For more information visit the Buckland Abbey website