Andrew Logan Unveils Portrait Of Trans-Gender Rights Crusader April Ashley
The renowned British artist, Andrew Logan will debut his portrait of April Ashley, actress and trans-gender rights crusader, at an exhibition of his work entitled, "Welcome to My World" which runs from 26th October until 21st November, at The Gallery Liverpool, 42 Stanhope Street, Liverpool L8 5RE. The exhibition, commissioned by Homotopia, will be opened by TV actress and conservationist, Rula Lenska. Andrew Logan’s portrait in mirrored glass, based on the iconic photograph of April Ashley taken by David Bailey, will be central to the exhibition. Prior to the close of the exhibition, Andrew Logan will be giving a talk in the gallery space on Saturday November 17th, followed that evening by an exhibition and show of Andrew’s sought after pieces of jewellery.
Andrew Logan states: “I have been deeply affected by Ashley’s struggles in her early life and her bravery. I am delighted to be participating in a small way in this celebration of Ashley’s life. An early pioneer and one of the first Britons to undertake a sex-change operation, Ashley pointed the way and inspired so many others; she campaigned on behalf of the transgender community and was awarded the MBE this year for her services to transgender equality. For my portrait of Ashley, I have taken as inspiration one of her iconic portraits of the 1960s when Ashley was a successful model, regularly featured in Vogue and shot by David Bailey.”
Curated by James Lawler and Martin Green, under the title, DuoVision, this is an exhibition in two parts, showcasing the work of two of ‘the most underrated of Britain’s artists’. The first artist to exhibit his work was Duggie Fields, followed on 26th October by Andrew Logan. It is hoped the portrait will be exhibited in the Museum of Liverpool from October 2013 as part of a two-year heritage project launched to research, explore and document the lives and experiences of transgender people in Britain over the past 70 years.
Famous for his mirrored works of art, Andrew Logan, born in 1945, is an internationally renowned artist, sculptor, performance artist, set designer and founder of The Alternative Miss World.
Originally from Oxford, Andrew studied to be an architect but after spending a year in America before qualifying in the late ‘60s, he discovered his true calling: as an artist in mixed media and in particular mosaics of mirrored glass. In his youth Andrew attracted, and influenced, artists from a wide range of disciplines including film director Derek Jarman, fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and rock icon Malcolm McLaren. His studio was the venue for the notorious Valentine’s Ball of 1976, the effective launch of the Sex Pistols.
Andrew has achieved international fame with his works which have been commissioned by governments, hotel chains and hospitals; corporations, cruise liners, airports and museums; a major retrospective of his work was held at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford in 1991. Andrew’s work is in private collections and museums worldwide and he has exhibited in Trafalgar Square and Sadler’s Wells; Russia, Mexico, the USA, India and Mexico. In 1972, Andrew Logan, inspired by Crufts, launched the first of his intermittent series of surreal and subversive pageants, The Alternative Miss World, which he states are “not about beauty but about transformation, making the ordinary extraordinary via outlandish costume and creative free rein”. His panel of judges are drawn from his celebrity contacts and have included Julian Clary, Richard O’Brien, Tim Curry, Amy Lamé, Ruby Wax and of course Zandra Rhodes.
For many years, Andrew has collaborated with his close friend, international fashion designer Zandra Rhodes, designing many pieces of jewellery to accompany her collections either for the catwalk or for fashion shoots; he has supported a number of high profile charity events, from decorating a guitar; collaborating on The Big Picture Frame with Zandra Rhodes; and most recently, as part of the Jubilee celebrations, decorating an egg for the Faberge Big Egg Hunt.
Homotopia: One of the outcomes of the project activities will be a 12 month exhibition in collaboration with the Museum of Liverpool, scheduled to open in 2013 and to which half a million visitors are anticipated. The exhibition will use Ashley’s personal documents, photographs, letters, newspaper cuttings and television clips to chart her journey from George Jamieson, born in Pitt Street, Liverpool in 1935 through her early career at sea with John Prescott, to cabaret performer for Einstein and Dali, her life-threatening gender reassignment surgery in 1960, actress alongside Bob Hope, friend to Peter O’Toole and Omar Sharif, Vogue model and marriage to a future peer of the realm.
Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, there will also be ‘reminiscence’ workshops and opportunities for members of the transgender community to share their own experiences.
Photo: Andrew Logan In Front Of Duggie Fields Painting © ArtLyst 2012