Nearness to the nameless ghost – Clare Logan
‘That feeling of nearness to the shapeless ghost, Ambiguity, is what I want most, what I want to put inside a book, what I want the reader to sense.’
– ‘Search for a Definition’, Siri Hustvedt, 2012
The ambiguous landscapes and forms in Clare Logan’s Nearness to the nameless ghost respond to her experiences and reflections of the New Zealand backcountry. Each painting is a journey through both painterly process and mountain scenes. As the viewer’s eye follows down from hazy horizons the paintings swirl, deepen, rise and flicker with movements both silken and volatile.
‘A space between categories, a twilight zone of the real and the unreal, the internal imagined and the tangibly physical, is what I’ve been seeking in making this series. The works are a convergence between an internal dialogue and the physical, ritual nature of making a painting. The tones, moods, forms and geological processes seen and felt in the mountains inevitably trickle into my subconscious, emerging in my work in echoed forms, colours and process.’
– Clare Logan, 2018
In making her work, Logan responds to both the forms that emerge as she paints and the fictional spaces she creates. Intuitive processes are used to apply paint and create the ebbing and flowing surfaces. Pouring and brushing paint in subsequent layers builds on each surface, ‘hinting towards oozing geological processes.’ This slow expansion allows time to create interest and balance throughout each piece. Looking into these works there are cues that engage the memories of landscapes. Logan harnesses this ambiguity to create rich dark paintings that become both personal and expandable.
Clare Logan graduated from the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts in 2012, and currently lives and works in Christchurch. Through her work she explores the interplay between memory, myth and perception in experiences of landscape. Her process begins with physical forays into the high country, after which the painted works unfold via a set of intuitive and responsive decisions.