2004 Machine Love

The traditional adage of mateship on the land is amusingly distorted by Waddell’s infatuation with the clanks and grinds of heavy farm machinery, in particular the tractor, emphasising an integral relationship between man and machine and the subtle sexuality that drives this fascination. No longer inanimate, each of Waddell’s tractor has been manipulated to personify a particular character (or emotion) collectively forming a rural hall of fame which can be attributed to Waddell’s own farming background.
Waddell’s tractors convey a range of characteristics, perhaps with the intention of exposing the inconsistencies of life on the land those within our closet relationships and within ourselves. The unfailing strength and unfathomable loyalty of the fatherly figure, whose vibrancy comes to life in Down and Dirty, or menace evident in Mad Max, a deranged war machine fervently struggling to conquer the desolate, unrelenting environment which encapsulates him.
Waddell’s fascination with tractors can be seen as more than a nostalgic tribute to agricultural practice as his underlying intention seems to be a juxtaposition of masculine sexuality coupled with a fascination for the overwhelming power represented by the faithful tractor.

Lenny Ann Low