Carrie Webster is a photographer and visual magician.
Carrie is exhibiting her new Darkness and Light series in a solo exhibition this April, and later at the prestigious Head On photo festival in May. The series invites you to tumble into wondrous worlds of various characters striving for happiness in alluring, yet softly sinister, landscapes.
Equally interesting as the questions raised by the work, is the unique craftsmanship behind each scene. All the works in Darkness and Light are complex photographic arrangements, made almost entirely from fruit and vegetables.
Your work has been described as surreal and whimsical; tell us about the characters and worlds that shape your works.
The Darkness and Light series explores both internal and external worlds. Primarily, the ongoing struggle to create internal happiness amongst the external factors that shape people’s lives. The characters in my work are whimsical, but they’re always counterbalanced with dark and surreal surroundings.
Where do you create your art?
I like to work in a clear and tidy space; when there’s mess, my mind feels messy! I do a lot of my Photoshop work at a massive table in my house, but when I want to photograph things, it’s important that the light is just right. I use a couple of different areas, and I sometimes set up lights to change the natural lighting and capture a certain mood.
What were some of the most challenging aspects of creating the Darkness and Light series?
I’d say the characters from my recreation of a scene from the children’s story, The Owl and the Pussycat. I constructed the owl figure from artichoke and other vegetables. Originally, the plan was to get the cat character by photographing a big ginger cat that a friend of mine owns. However, as with the beast laid plans, it turned out to be difficult finding time to arrange this, so I began creating a cat figure from fruit and vegetables. The challenge of a complex arrangement appealed to me.
Since then, I’ve gone from building single characters to constructing entire scenes.
How did you start using vegetables in your work?
I wanted to create beautiful landscapes within a private space. The internal environment (of the home) can be controlled. There’s also the appeal of creating something from scratch, rather than photographing a pre-existing scene. The fruit and vegetables in my kitchen were readily available to sculpt, and it is visually interesting because it’s quite different to most photography. I started by making a simple arrangement and then decided to see what I could create as a theme.
What are the art-making items that you can’t live without?
For me, it is my camera (what kind?) and Photoshop. I spend lots of time in Photoshop.
Describe your upcoming exhibition in three words.
Whimsical. Contrasting. Dreamscape.
If you had a day with no commitments, what would you do?
I love what I do creatively- really having time to indulge in creative practise. If I were working on a particular art piece, I would spend the day developing it.