Andrew Logan, artist, on the sun.
GB Tell me why you chose the sun.
AL I think there are so many beautiful things in the world but the sun gives the essence of beauty to everything. Without that we wouldn’t be here. It was a very simple idea. I kept thinking of other objects, as my purpose in life is to make beautiful things. I make things that celebrate life and there are so few people doing that. It’s a very simple message but difficult to portray. I feel that everyone just takes the sun for granted now. In the past it was worshipped. Without it there would be no life and life is a beautiful thing. Often the essence gets forgotten and to me art should be about an essence. For me that essence, that soul is missing from a lot of contemporary art shows which disturbs me. So I tend to do a lot of yoga! I like to stretch myself as far as I can as an artist, from the Alternative Miss World, to my museum in Wales, to my recent work on Clapham Library – which is full of artifacts from the community.
GB It’s interesting that you’ve chosen the sun and you use so many shiny things in your work – the glass and mirrors and glitter.
AL I started my first piece in 1968 when I was an architecture student at Oxford. I had a 1930s Oyster light and I built these waves across the wall to try to extend the light. I’ve been playing with light for over 40 years.
GB And you’ve chosen the one thing we can’t really look at.
AL When I’m playing with mirrors of course it’s physical but it’s also very spiritual. I call it playing with cosmic light. I use it very playfully. I do believe in play. I’ve seen some very dour, solemn mirrors in art over the years. To me it’s joyful. I have a beautiful painting of the sun by Bruce Lacey over my bed. And the sun is always present in my work.
GB Do you know much about the sun scientifically?
AL Recently I’ve seen some interesting programmes about the sunspots disappearing which means we’re heading for a mini ice age. We’ll be skating on the Thames again like the Elizabethans!
GB And does the fact that it might kill us all one day add to its beauty?
AL Oh yes. But I don’t think we need to worry about it for a few billion years!
GB Do you think the sun has a big effect on different cultures? We don’t get much in the UK but you spend a lot of time going to India.
AL Yes, we’re a very hard working nation. And with capitalism getting more rife we’re working even harder. It’s work work work. What about play play play? You can’t take work to the grave. People in India smile more. Materially they have less, but really they have so much more.
GB What makes something worthy of the word Beauty to you?
AL It’s a reason for living.
GB Is the Alternative Miss World challenging ideals of beauty? Is that how ideals of beauty evolve, through people setting out to create something original?
AL Yes, over time. But you can’t surpass nature. We are nature.