A Review of Jack Waddington's Give Me Love by current Staffordshire University Fine Art undergraduate Pritesh Patel
Give Me Love presents physical manifestations of elements that would normally solely exist in the realm of imagination. These elements come together carrying a child-like aesthetic, however they hold concepts that children would be oblivious to. The result is a set of surreal sculptural events that allude to a world that lies beyond the viewer's imagination.
Waddington employs a use of varied materials and colour schemes that belong to a nursery to depict a glimpse into a contorted environment. Yet this surreal, other-worldly vision contains reflections of our own; Waddington's focus for Give Me Love is one which is aimed at our modern society. The artworks display a consumption driven world built with a tangible plasticity and feature figures who seek more, but the work doesn't just comment on society as a whole; it also reflects on the experience of artistic practice. Waddington successfully represents the need that artists have for the acceptance and validation of the artwork they create from others, a self reference that many can relate to. The artworks address this experience of artistic practice through the use of figurative elements that display characters with the desire to obtain more from the world they belong to. Although these figurative elements operate differently to the plastic environment Waddington displays through his use of found materials, the characters fit into the environment displayed much like how the real world is a perfect fit for an artist who desires more.
The child's concept of escapism is a strong element of Give Me Love and much like how a child engages with the plastic toys present in the work, the work itself contains an embedded parallel of which it was created as a form of escape for the artist. The show itself can act as a form of escape for the viewer with the way in which it presents an other-worldly environment; bringing this child's concept to a mature audience.
A take on an all consuming modern society via the perception of a practicing artist seemingly through the naive filter of a child's eyes is what Give Me Love delivers.- Pritesh Patel