Christine Webster uses photography, video and the body to interpret and explore ideas around gender and identity, role-play and the different personae people reveal. She has created numerous bodies of work operating in the nexus between the known and the transgressive, the public and the private. Her protracted study of desire, vulnerability, and power seeks to confront the status quo and the politics of the gaze. Webster’s continued fascination with the omnipresence of these issues in people’s lives, and the immense variation and complexity to be encountered, drives her investigations. Webster uses her own body as a device that avoids links to time and place. Acting as a catalyst, she also seeks subjects who are willing to be directed, so together they can portray aspects of human psychology that will find empathy with, offer intimacy to, or deeply unnerve the viewer.
Included in the ground-breaking exhibition ‘Neue Mythen’ at Cologne’s Museum Ludwig in 1989, Webster was one of the first of a new generation of New Zealand artists to be actively engaged in the international arena, her work also shown at Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles, France, and at MACBA, Barcelona, Spain. Webster was awarded the prestigious Frances Hodgkins Fellowship in 1991, and after time spent lecturing and exhibiting in New Zealand, completed her MFA at the University of Glasgow in 2004. Living permanently in the UK since 1997, Webster’s work has been exhibited widely in New Zealand and internationally. Her work is held in the collections of Biblioteque Nationale, Paris, France; LA County Museum, USA; The International Museum of Photography, Rochester, New York; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; MCA, Sydney, Australia; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia; and Te Papa Tongarewa, Museum of New Zealand.