Born To Rule by Nick Waddell was the title of his show at Westspace in July/August this year. I wasn't here in Melbourne at the time so haven't seen this work, but I have fallen in love with Melbourne's artscene again in the last few weeks and decided to stick with a local artist, who is an alumni of my College and exhibiting at one of the many artist run spaces here in Melbourne.
The Royal Wedding earlier this year seemed to have captured the imagination of the world. I was in the United States during the build up to the big day and was quite surprised at how many Americans were really and truely excited about this event. The only connection they have to the Royal Wedding is Disney Princesses! Frankly, I was not interested at all. Maybe it's because I grew up at a time in Australia when the only Australians supporting the monarchy, or even interested in them, were the Australians who had been here for generations, with roots going back to England. Since the influx of immigrants into Australia from the 1960's, the demographic that makes up Australia has changed immensly. No longer are a large part of the population rooted to 'The Motherland' of England.
I'm not sure what Nick Waddell's background is but this exhibition certainly suggests a lack of interest or support for the British Monarch. I paricularly like the work below as it is a cropped image of the Queen's throat and chin, who is on our five dollar note and all our coins. Having a quick glimpse at this work, I saw a penis! It made me think of naughty young teenage boys drawing penises on everything as a sign of retaliation for authority. Very cute indeed, but of course I would find anything with a suggestion of a penis 'very cute indeed'. LOL!!!
The tilte of the work confirms this teenage boy retaliation against authority. In the eighties, at the time when the last royal wedding was happening, the word 'hero' was used in Australia in a derogatory fashion to suggest that someone was too big for their boots, a smart arse or simply too bloody confident. Using the word 'hero' as the title of this work definitely suggests a facetious tone towards the Queen and all that she represents.
I imagine Waddells exhibition would have been a fun one to visit, having been produced around the same time of the wedding and exhibited shortly after all the hype and bombardment from our media. You can see more images of the exhibition here where great documentation of the full exhibition and all works involved have been created for Westspace's website.