Undertow – Clare Logan
The paintings in Undertow deal in unseen forces, exploring the way in which waking experiences of landscapes are transmuted through the subconscious. Logan refers to a sense of ‘swamping’, of watery inundation, recurring in her thoughts and throughout this body of work. Such ideas contain within them the relationship between the psychological and physical worlds – these landscapes being evocative of dreamt, felt and imagined spaces.
I am interested in this metaphysical side of how we experience the world. How our physical experience of the world is coloured by our psychological or imaginary worlds that we project onto things. For these works it’s a sense of swamping tides, a disquiet, blurry cataclysm and things that hover on the edge of our perception, possibly portents of dark things. – Clare Logan, 2019
Dark geological peaks and valleys ebb and flow in the picture plane between orange skies and moving water. These oncoming deluges, murky streams or foaming washes that cut through the black tones are metaphors for entropy in the natural world. As Logan pours and manipulates oil paint on to flat surfaces, she imbues them with her psychological responses to the backcountry New Zealand landscape. The works are also influenced by concerns around ecological change as it becomes increasingly evident in the land and public discourse. This significant body of work captures that emotive experience of change in the land, expressed through these other-worldly scenes.
Refined and developed intuitive painting techniques create sublime moments between light and dark. Logan captures the movement of pigment to create dynamic, shifting, compositions that reflect a spirit of the land and waterways – mutable, brooding, blending, rippling, tidal and overflowing. Fine gradations and atmospheres linger in the murky depths of these paintings. The painting process is visible through the sides of the paintings, where the paint drips over the edges and dries into soft borders. Minutely detailed textures encourage the viewer to come in close, and become swamped in them.
Clare Logan discussed this body of work with Cameron Ralston ahead of the opening. Read the full article here.