Sometimes you just want something glittery and shiny to brighten up your life, and thank goodness for Andrew Logan for providing that.
Logan is famous as the founder of the Alternative Miss World in 1972 and as a sculptor, jewellery maker and artist. I was also lucky enough to see him escorting Zandra Rhodes to the press day of the Chelsea Flower Show a few years ago, and the pair were so colourfully dressed they were competing with the floral displays for attention; fitting for an artist whose Wikipedia entry also includes the description “self promoter”.
Logan has an exhibition of his work at Buckland Abbey in Devon on show until the end of October, and on a grey day my heart was lifted by a visit.
Buckland Abbey was built in 1278, one of the last of the Cistercian monasteries to be build in England and Wales, and after the dissolution was sold on to Sir Francis Drake.
The Abbey’s impressive Great Barn (fittingly named) is filled with Goldfield, an old work on show for the first time in 41 years featuring huge golden sheaves, given lots of space amongst piles of straw in the ancient building.
Nearby, Excalibur features the sculpted hand and sword rising from the lake.
In the Abbey house itself, there are works large and small to delight. Three shiny, mirror-clad, horse sculptures, Pegasus – Birth, Life and Death start the journey on the ground floor, along with a self portrait of Logan made mainly from glass too.
On the first floor, amongst the house’s Sir Francis Drake collection of exhibits there are pieces of Logan’s shiny jewellery, and Dinner with Andrew and Friends features a Rhodes-designed tablecloth, plus other paintings and sculptural works by mostly unnamed friends.
The Zen Garden is a representation on a table top of the Kyoto garden, and is designed to be restful and visitors are encouraged to sit and contemplate; sadly the noise of Abbey volunteers and staff in their room next door made that a bit difficult!
Down in the kitchen, Humpty Dumpty, a shiny little creation, sat in the oven waiting to be discovered. In the Great Hall, thrones used in Alternative Miss World were glamorous and enticing, and Altar Cross was on show appropriately in the chapel, and didn’t look out of place.
Andrew Logan’s exhibition is called The Art of Reflection, and he wrote that he hoped it would enthral and surprise visitors. It certainly made me smile, and added an extra fun element to a beautiful destination.