Huw Andrews is a multidisciplinary artist from West Wales and is based in Cardiff. Predominately, Andrews produces artworks in projects, offering multiple angles on a particular place, focus or impulse. Locally and internationally, he records spontaneous encounters, personal endeavours and wandering observations; exploring overlooked spaces, thoughts and individuals. Conversely however, he remains fascinated yet unsettled by the influence of consumer activities on our behaviours, choices and identities. In production, Andrews often approaches this conflict by manipulating his research with reference to consumerism, tourism or television. Overall, Andrews aims to celebrate the undervalued and trivialise the valued, disrupting the mainstream perceptions of value, success and purpose he routinely encounters.
Through his solo show Bide Your Time, Andrews refers to his status as a seemingly under or over-qualified jobseeker. In 2010, finding meaningful employment to fulfil his creative desires and technical skills, began as a tough Summer challenge. Even slightly ambitious entry-level and voluntary roles, deem Andrews as under-qualified. Bide Your Time mirrors this increasingly futile persistence, containing multiple works which fail to reach a quantifiable result or obvious purpose.
Research gathered in West Wales, forms the basis of explorations into tasks he is actually under-qualified to address; those of the Builder, Crime Scene Investigator, Sports Analyst, Portrait Photographer, Rally Driver, Estate Agent and Surveyor. Through performance, text, photography, video and floor-based works, Andrews is passionately, naively, or stubbornly determined to look for better times. It’s Easier to Tell My Nephew That I’m a Builder (2011) will be performed on the opening night, resulting in a permanent work to join the show. It will be Andrews’s first live performance and will be loosely calculated and deliberately unrehearsed.
As of February 2011, Andrews had received three telephone enquiries regarding his employability and/or services. The transcript of the first is as follows, “Hello.” “Do you send out catalogues of your wigs?” “Sorry, I’m afraid you have the wrong number.” “Sorry to disturb you, goodbye.” “Good luck, bye.”
Huw Andrews. February 2011.
The presence of failure is also the point of creativity, in the act of failing the desire to try again is the glue of creative activity, the point where things go wrong, the very space of possibility. For Andrews this acknowledgment has gone beyond the isolation of ‘failure’ as artistic reflection on making, to one of endurance for its own sake. In the act of persistence Andrews ironically endows the futile with its own visibility and importance in circumstances where ‘biding your time’ has become the only act of resistance and creativity. As Samuel Beckett says in the play Worstward Ho (1983) “Ever tried. Ever failed. No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail Better.”
Elisa Oliver. Senior Lecturer, Historical and Critical Studies, Leeds Metropolitan University.
Huw Andrews’s work has the strange knack of turning the banal and everyday into the heroic and metaphysical while maintaining a wry understanding that it is neither of these. We are cajoled by his understated humor, and just as we acclimatise to it, he unnerves us with the slightest shift of attitude, revealing the falsity of what we think we were looking at. Andrews plays a strange sleight of hand where the work seems site- and time- specific, but is universal; it seems trifling and indulgent, yet is challenging and rigorous. These extremes are not played out dramatically or bombastically… they occur imperceptibly beneath the surface while we think we are watching something else. This is hypersensitive manipulation that only starts to register long after you have left the work.
Rory Macbeth, Artist.
Private view / Golwg Breifat
Friday 29th July 2011 7 – 9PM
Gwener 29ain Gorffennaf 7 – 9YP
Exhibition continues until 13th August
Arddangosfa yn parhau tan 13eg Awst
Open Wednesday – Saturday 12 – 5PM
Amserau agor Mercher – Sadwrn 12 – 5YP
Admission free / Mynediad yn rhad ac am ddim