Christine Webster’s photographs, with their uneasy subject matter and lush production qualities, confront the viewer with their striking juxtapositions. Rich, textured interiors and stark, monochromatic exteriors mirror the tensions inherent in the minds and bodies of her subjects. Webster brings private personae into the public eye, querying layers of identities and examining hidden desires and motivations.
Her most recent photographic series, Therapies, is a narrative of unease; she peels back the artifice of beauty to the dark stories that lie underneath. Implied violence, sexual tension, mental and physical anguish confront viewers in images that are carefully choreographed and beautifully produced. Webster’s desolate landscapes are blurred and damp with fog; both the land and the women possess a sparse beauty which is compelling in its nakedness. Often placing the viewer in the position of voyeur, Webster uses this to explore issues of gender roles, power structures, and social stereotypes.
Exhibiting regularly within New Zealand and abroad since the mid-80s, Christine Webster was the recipient of the Frances Hodgkins Fellowship at the University of Otago in 1991. After time spent lecturing and exhibiting in New Zealand, she moved to the United Kingdom in 1997 and completed her Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Glasgow in 2004. Webster has works in numerous collections worldwide, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, the Bibliothéque Nationale, Paris, the Los Angeles County Museum, and the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.