Artist Biography - Jamie Andrews

Jamie Andrews is British multimedia artist born in Devon and currently living in Suffolk.

His work explores several genres - landscape, portrait, religious, political, social and satirical. His inspiration to become an artist stems from his family, particularly his father who was an art dealer, leading him to playfully draw, opening a whole new world of visual communica
...tion.

On first impression, Jamie Andrews' work is about play in all senses of the word - games, imagination, fantasy, performance or pure verbal and visual plays: puzzles to tease the eye and engage the mind.

Fed by an obsessive desire for the childish and childlike naive innocence as viewed through the eyes of an adults knowledge and experience, the work is far from puerile and often leads to challenging and thought provoking images and sculptures.

He uses strong opaque colour which is either applied directly from the tube or with large trowels. Whilst cheerful, vibrant tones allow him to portray innocence and happiness, his work often has an underlying message, often relating to global social issues.

Dr Francesca Vanke. Museum Curator of Decorative arts writes:

"His highly distinctive pictures combine elements which at first glance seem simple, even naïve. The vivid acrylic colours, vintage toys and charms, and garish plastic alphabet letters may seem as jumbled and jolly as a toddler's playroom, but do not be fooled.

Look again and, despite his light touch and misleading, cheery innocence, Andrews' works are extraordinarily expressive: witty, ironic, angry and tragic, and handled with a dark humour which goes straight for the jugular on every subject from religion and sex to politics and pollution.

Embedded letters, apparently as artlessly placed as magnets on a fridge door form words with entirely adult meaning. The sugary smile on a doll's impassive pink face becomes a leer, peering disembodied from layers of impasto colours as thick as theatre curtains, making you wonder what game she is playing, what she is hiding, what lies behind the smile.

Sometimes Andrews' use of toys seem less sinister than unexpectedly poignant. How better to convey the vulnerability of an individual, the low cost of life in a throw-away society? These little figures become a pile of corpses covered in blood, fall from the sky, or balance precariously on the backs of circus horses as though about to topple from the picture. Yet they have personality too: Jesus on the Cross as a yellow, smiley-faced stick figure seems to embrace his destiny, while George Bush as a floppy, puppet-like skeleton is frightening and ridiculous in equal measures. This is about play: life is a game, and life is fragile."
His most recent exhibitions in 2010 include 2010 Elements, Winner of the Bayer Prize. The Forum Norwich, Norfolk. 2010 Eastern Open, Kings Lynn, Norfolk. 2010 Seachange Arts, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. 2010 Halesworth Gallery, Halesworth, Suffolk. 2010 Theatre Royal, Norwich, Norfolk.
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