A bitter, twisted anarchic soul from a distant punk ethos using satire, mockery and irony to record life in a contemporary world with empathy towards his fellow man and the environment. J's work, mainly made from found objects and plastic reflects the age of the throw-away, the work contains a complex array of meanings, emotions and feelings, using symbols and metaphors to record relationships and interactions of life and living.
The work is very much about play in every sense of the word, mind games to tease the eye and engage the senses. 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 lead to challenging provoking images and sculptures. Objects such as toys, gold and silver jewellery are used as symbols to connect with an audience in communicating a variety of messages, threatening, humorous, sexual, rude, political, religious and often ironic, particularly when related to the title of the works.
On the 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.
His highly distinctive pictures combine elements which at first glance seem simple, even naïve. The vivid acrylic colours, vintage toys, gold and silver charms, the 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, J's 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 is about to be played, what's hiding, what lies behind the smile.
Sometimes J's use of toys seems 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, a puppet-like skeleton is frightening and ridiculous in equal measures. This is about play: life is a game, and life is fragile.
Dr Francesca Vanke. Museum Curator of Decorative Arts.
2007 Ammunition show, Norwich, Norfolk.
2007 Winner of the Al-turner-tive Turner Art Prize, Liverpool, Merseyside.
2007 View Two Gallery, Liverpool, Merseyside.
2008 The Peoples Place, Liverpool, Merseyside.
2008 The Cut Art Centre, Halesworth, Suffolk.
2008 Ethna Dillon, Norwich, Norfolk.
2008 Baskerville House, Birmingham, West Midlands.
2008 Norwich Castle Open, Norwich, Norfolk.
2008 National Painting Prize, Chichester, West Sussex.
2008 Ammunition Reloaded, Norwich, Norfolk.
2009 Ethna Dillon, Norwich, Norfolk.
2009 Rude Boys, Norwich, Norfolk.
2009 Stew Gallery, Norwich, Norfolk.
2009 National Painting Prize, Chichester, West Sussex.
2009 Digby Gallery, Colchester, Essex.
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.
2011 Eastern Open, Kings Lynn, Norfolk.
2011 La Galleria, Royal Opera Arcade, Pall Mall, London.
2011 Flying Colours, Assembly House, Norwich, Norfolk.
2011 Silo Arts, Lowestoft, Suffolk.
2011 Urban Curations Group show, Hackney, London.
2013 Apex, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
2013 Steeple End Gallery, Halesworth Suffolk.
2014 Walton and Bovill Fine Art, Long Melford, Suffolk.
2015 Cambridge Art Fair, Cambridge.
2015 Moosey Art, Norwich, Norfolk.
2015 Breaking the Mould, Norwich, Norfolk.
2015 Merchant House Gallery, Suffolk.
2016 Moosey Art, Norwich, Norfolk.
2016 Merchant House Gallery, Suffolk.
2016 Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize, London.
2017 Merchant House Gallery, Suffolk.
2017 Affordable Art Fair Hampstead London.
2018 35 North Contemporary, Brighton.
2018 Inheritance, Norwich Museum Gallery, Norfolk.
2018 Cut Open, Halesworth, Suffolk.
2020 Air Gallery, Manchester.
2021 Young Savage, Fairhurst Gallery, Norwich, Norfolk.