Buzz Logan - A Retrospective

Buzz Logan001.jpg
Buzz Logan001.jpg

Buzz Logan - A Retrospective


Catalogue from exhibition at Red Barn Gallery. 
April 2015.
Introduction by Brian Keenan.
Foreword by Jackie Redpath.
56 pages.
49 Monochrome photographs.

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Don McCullin, the outstanding contemporary Social Realist photographer once commented about his darkroom. 'I like the consistency of the dark. It keeps me safe. The darkroom is a womb. I have everything I need there, my mind, my emotions, my passions, my papers, my chemicals, my negatives and my direction. In the dark I am totally together.'

McCullin's words reminded me of one of the few occasions Buzz allowed me into his dark sanctuary while he was working. A rare honour, Buzz's darkroom was absolutely ' off limits'. In the dull glow of the red printing light it was like watching someone caught up in a quiet but earnest rapture. As the pictures emerged out of the chemicals he would become excited, studious, angry, confused, often given over to laughter, sometimes mediated by agitated anxiety. In a way the chemicals were printing out Buzz's emotions as well as his pictures.

Anyone who knew Buzz knew he took his work seriously. Outside his darkroom he was the heart of conviviality, the only other thing he was serious about was enjoying life. I always remember him laughing like a big happy bear, and like a big happy bear there was a quality of gentleness about him. But however much he enjoyed the life around him, it was photography that gave him life and allowed him to see it in all its quiet extraordinariness.

Having the gift of seeing, being an eye witness is a very special gift but, I think, only as long as it is put to proper use. I know Buzz understood that. In a sense he also knew that he did not own his own photos, they owned him. His images open up the landscape of the mind and emotions and inform us more directly than words.

To create photographic pictures that are independent of documentary and that speak to us profoundly out of their own stillness is the art of the Social Realist. Buzz Logan honoured that art.

Joseph Conrad author of the Heart Of Darkness wrote that it was the artists responsibility to 'Make you hear, make you feel and make you see, beyond the immediacy of the moment and into its meaning for all mankind' Buzz knew what Conrad meant and in the heart of his own darkened room he made pictures talk and sing and scream and made us feel and see in the way that words and the ungifted eye cannot.

Brian Keenan