For background on the artist and works, see below.
About the ArtistRobyn Webster (Christchurch) is primarily a sculptor and printmaker, although she has worked since her first exhibition, in other disciplines including painting and performance. She teaches senior painting at secondary level, but in recent years has devoted increasing energy to her own art practice, particularly using harakeke (flax fibre) for both sculptures and creation of shapes and motifs in printmaking, especially monoprints. Her monotypes also employ other natural materials for imprinting shapes – such as the giant puka leaf. Suggestions of cell structures, protective woman figures, house shapes and perhaps bloodlines, flow through her work.
Robyn Webster (Christchurch) brings the tradition of handmade artefacts and natural materials into contemporary fine art practice, most notably with her use of Industrialised Harakeke (flax) fibre both in the creation of her unique sculptures and for her semi-abstracted monoprints.
The figure is a recurring motif, but her emphasis in the river works is on the relationship with the natural environment and commitment to its protection. She entwines the concepts and expression by using natural locally sourced materials like harakeke (flax) fibre and leaf forms to imprint vessel forms and figures, bringing the tradition of handmade artefacts into contemporary fine art practice. Those natural materials suggest looking to indigenous tradition for a more natural connection to the environment; in these new works in ink on paper Webster brings her figures into a water environment, the source of life. She creates the figures of harakeke fibre and imprints them, here within braided forms evoking the fragile rivers of Canterbury, at the same time are like floating woven forms in the deep blue green space. Her figures are evolving too, from striding strength into a kind of whale woman, at home in the water.
More About the Artist
The concept of womanhood evolves within her work – from being a woman, making art as a woman, to concepts of woman as home, world as home, and of protecting the natural world. Thus her work is also about sustainability, both in terms of the earth, and all the associations of ‘woman’.