In GIVE ME LOVE, Jack Waddington
presents a collection of new works that explore the social nature of desperateness and dependency for love and acceptance. Tapping into the emotive side of art and the social desire for a self-love, the show regards the narcissistic aspects of an artists practice and comments playfully on this through self-narratives.
Through an on-going exploration into conceited ideals within art and western civilisation, Jack’s recent works playfully offer a correlation between the innocence of child’s play and the vulnerability of a society seduced by an artificial and hyper-constructed setting. The mixed media assemblages look at well-being and how, as humans, we desire satisfaction from an environment that may or may not provide it.
Using the polycentric city of Stoke-on-Trent loosely as a geographical substrate for his figurative constructions, Jack has created chaotic scenes with a deliberate fictional naivety that alternate in scale and proportion. Binding colour and materials obsessively, the works anxiously consider the dichotomy between satisfaction and distress and the tactile relationship between found and handmade materials. Jack revels in the liberty of dissecting and separating form physically and then re-composing them in a way similar to how a child would spread out their toys and organise them at their own pace.
Jack seeks to comment on the sprouting desire for acceptance humanity is provoked by in an increasingly fabricated environment where we are routinely encouraged to analyse and critique ourselves. The nature of self-consciousness is the recurrent beat within his works. With the works’ youthful aesthetic, containing objects like toys, Jack demonstrates a connection between this social sensitivity and vulnerability with the exposed nature of innocent youth.
When we create, we self-negotiate and ask ourselves what concerns us, what is it that becomes a problematic topic that requires an investigation through the manifestation of artwork? Ultimately we are often producing an embodiment of ourselves, a self-portrait. We desire to nurture something to socially acceptable standard so we can show off our achievements by proudly displaying them on a wall, striving for a sense of satisfaction and reassurance over ourselves. This self-reflective and personalized aspect of art is at the heart of GIVE ME LOVE.
Jack Waddington is a Graduate of Camberwell College of Arts. His practice centres around experimentations with found materials and handmade objects. He is propelled by art as a form of escapism and explores this concern through sculptural and painterly works, echoing the innocence of child’s play.
Waddington is motivated by remedial qualities of making and likes to investigate the relationship between an artist's well-being and their practice. He interprets the process of creating as a vulnerable approach an artist adopts to seek reassurance and a resolution for a concern or insecurity they are emotionally confronted with. An artist strives for satisfaction and a state of contentment through the manifestation of an artwork. In response to the notion of comfort that inspires Waddington's practice, he materialises fictional scenes to demonstrate the boundaries between satisfaction and distress, utopias and dystopias.
Alongside typical art materials, he works with found material and accessible items, such as, toys and house-ware, adopting a craft-like method when constructing his installations. He often works withrecycled material to reflect on how one regurgitates content from art history and differing cultures.
Involved in the principles of Psychogeography and Surrealism, Waddington comments on the human condition and the interactions between the mind and environment. The plastic and artificial finish of the figurative works is a response to the fabricated nature of the hyper-constructed, man-made environments in which western civilisation become entranced by. He connects this naivety to child's play and approaches his practice like a child playing with toys, seeking security and comfort by absorbing themselves within a fictional narrative.
The AirSpace Gallery Graduate Residency Scheme, running since 2012, seeks to tackle graduate retention in Stoke-on-Trent and offers new arts graduates an opportunity to bridge the gap between education and a professional arts career. Residents receive free personal studio space for 6 months, and full access to the Gallery's facilities. There is an emphasis on professional development, with a series of monthly mentoring meetings, led by Gallery directors and invited artists. The scheme offers two exhibition opportunities within the Gallery - an interim exhibition in the AirSpace Window Space or Resource Room and the final all-important solo exhibition which is produced and curated with tailored assistance from a professional artist identified through conversation between the resident and the gallery directors.