Gallery Talk

A lingering dark

12 May · Sally
A lingering dark

“What we call landscape is a stretch of earth overlaid with memory, thought and expectation… Landscape is what we allow in the doors of perception”
– Scott Russell Sanders (Earth Works: Selected Essays)

In A lingering dark, Christchurch artist Clare Logan draws on the memories and lingering perceptions of the mountainous landscape of the South Island. Through densely poured and painted surfaces she evokes an ambiguity of time and place, filtered through the personal and collective memory of passing through a unique environment on the unstable periphery of our urban lives.

Beyond the secure fence-line of suburban and agricultural sprawl, the mountain environment, both in New Zealand and in Asian and Pacific cultures, serves as a vehicle for the imagination. These are sites of cultural significance, informed by mythology, historical narratives and the personal experience of wild, rugged and strangely beautiful mountainscapes.

In the works seen here we find references to Petrus van der Velden’s exotic sublimation of the New Zealand high country, the dark interiority of Tony Fomison’s landscapes and the expressionistic responsiveness of Barbara Tuck to the natural environment. But there is, too, a more nuanced wilderness in these hulking shapes and luminescent forms. Far beyond the frontiers of post-colonial New Zealand, the brooding darkness, glistening water and the small steady eye of the moon are informed by the subjectivity of personal encounter and the fallibility of human memory.

Through a deliberate yet intuitive process of pouring, layering, drying, brushing and glazing, Logan evokes the mutability of the mountain experience, the psychological pull of the landscape and the millennial-old processes that shaped these forms.

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