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    Robyn Webster

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Artist Biography

Robyn Webster- Artist’s Bio

    I was introduced to harakeke, NZ flax, in my late teens, and was fortunate to then meet and work under some of Aotearoa’s top weavers. I pay particular tribute to Heeni Kerekere, Erenora Puketapu Hetet, and Emily Schuster. From these dedicated and talented women I learned about respect for another culture, the environment, and especially respect for a plant.

   I graduated with honours in Sculpture from Otago Art School in my early 30’s, making large installations with waste plastics. I then began working towards an environmentalist art using natural materials, referring more to my own culture and attempting to be less reliant on the Maori traditions I had been trained in. Practically rather than theoretically I have been working within biculturalism, while simultaneously attempting to integrate a feminist craft ideal within contemporary sculptural practice, all as an ode to the land.

   My collaboration with AGResearch and the Biopolymer Network began in 2010. Since then I have been making sculptural work utilising the industrialised harakeke and epoxy resin processes they have developed. (As an alternative to the glass fibre in fibreglass, they are developing uses of harakeke fibre with resins, as it is far more sustainable and is recyclable.)  Finger weaving and plaiting techniques work well with this flexible material. Rigidity can be achieved by using gravity or tension as I introduce the resin. It is like drawing in space.

   The printmaking has been going on quietly for years but the idea of printing from my harakeke forms and figures is new. I experience the making as arranging forms within a field, and then applying the colour in layers, like painting with the press. My cast of characters and symbols come together in different relationships and compositions, always moving a little as though they were (still) alive. The field of operations, the ground, is an old cataloguing plate from a body imaging machine (XRay maybe, pre digital) and is a tiny fragment of the growing mountains of the newly outdated, and is my metaphor for regressive progress.

The harakeke used in these printed figures comes from my own pa harakeke, and the varieties used are Awahou and Tapamangu.

Curriculum Vitae:
Comprehensive – Exhibitions
2018 -ZONTA Female Art Awards Exhibition, Group Show, Ashburton Art Gallery
2018- “Post Christmas Show” Inge Doesburg Gallery, Dunedin
2017- “Tai Tapu Sculpture”  Group Show at Tai Tapu Sculpture Garden
2017- “Sculpture on the Peninsular”, Louden Farm, Group Show
2017- “Figure and Form”, Diversion Gallery, Picton (with Llew Summers)
2017- “Shared Lines” Group Show, Thistle Hall, Wellington
2017-“From the Rivers to the Shore” Travelling Group Show of Print Makers’ works : Oxford Gallery, Devonport (Depot Gallery) Rawene, Hokianga
2017- “Warp and Weft”, Dilana Rugs, First Thursdays, Sydenham.
2017- -ZONTA Female Art Awards Exhibition, Group Show, Ashburton Art Gallery
2016- Pop Up Collaborative work “Anchor Point” with choreographer Fluer de Thier , a lighting designer, musician (live)and six dancers at CoCA
2016-  “Fine Lines” Diversion Gallery, Picton (Group Show with Graham Bennett, Bing Dawe, and Denise Copland.)
2016- “Too Many Dinner Parties” Group Show Eastside Gallery
2016- “Tai Tapu Sculpture” Group Show at Taitapu Sculpture Garden
2015-2016 “Matakaea, Shag Point”  Solo Show Ashburton Public Art Gallery, A Collaboration with Poet Bernadette Hall
 2015- Group Show “Sculpture on the Peninsular”
2015- Group Show, “Tai Tapu Sculpture” at Tai Tapu Sculpture Garden
2015-“Lucid” Dance / Sculpture Collaboration, choreographed by Fluer de Thier, Megan Platt, around sculpture by Llew Summers and Robyn Webster  with dancers and musicians at our home in Mt Pleasant, Christchurch
2015- Group Show, First Thursdays in Sydenham “Paper Scissors Rock” Curated by Warren Feeney
2015- Duo Show “Boundary Unbound” Collaboration with Dance Photographer Bina Klose, Sumner Art Window
2015- Group Show “Masks of Humanity” Eastside Gallery, Linwood, Christchurch
 2014- Curated Group Show, “Compendia” City Art Depot, Christchurch
2014-Curated Group Show  “The Signing/ Belonging ” Academy Gallery Wellington
2014- Community Show,  “Stand Tall” (“Zeraffe” giraffe) Christchurch, with Llew Summers
2014- Solo Show/Installation :”Biorama” Sumner Art Window
2014-  Group Show, Paper Works “Toy” Pop Up, @ The Colombo Curated by Warren Feeney
2014- Solo Show “Tribute” Chamber Gallery, Rangiora Public Library
2013- Group Show “Scattershot” Pop Up in Redcliffs, Christchurch
2013- Group Show “[In] Box”Art Box Gallery, Christchurch
2013- Group Show “One Night Wonder” Lopdell House, Titerangi, Auckland
2013- International Travelling Exchange Group Show “Shared Lines” SoFA Gallery, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, and Sendai, Japan
2013- Solo Show / Installation “Recollected Love”  Sumner Art Window, Christchurch
2012- Solo Show/ Installation “Convulvulus Infinitum” CoCA Window
2012- Curated Group Show “Summer Exhibition” Waitakaruru Arboretum/ Sculpture Park
2012- Invited Group Show “Te Whai Ao” Chamber Gallery, Rangiora Public Library
2012- Open Home and Studio Show “History and Biology” with Llew Summers at our home.
2011- Group Show “Be A Brick” Fundraiser for Martin Whitworth, Paper Graphica, Christchurch
2011- Group Show “Sculpture on the Peninsular” Louden Farm, Banks Peninsular
2011- Group Show “A Gathering” Curated by Grant Bambury
2010- Group Show “The Art of Nanotechnology” Our City / Otautahi in conjunction with Canterbury and Otago Universities
2010-Group Show “Blend” a touring version of the Art of Nanotechnology, ROCDA Gallery, Dunedin
2009- Solo Show, “Twist” CoCA, Christchurch
2009- Canterbury Art Teachers Exhibition at (AANZAE) National Conference, Dunedin
2008- Curated Travelling Group show “Preview” CoCA and Temple Gallery, Dunedin.
2008- Emerging Artist Scheme- Solo Show North Gallery, CoCA
2008 – Canterbury Art Teachers Association Exhibition “Catch All” CoCA
 2007- Canterbury Art Teachers Association Exhibition “Indulgences” CoCA
2006– Canterbury Art Teachers Association Exhibition “Connect” CoCA
2005- Canterbury Art Teachers Association Exhibition “Layers” CoCA
2002-Christchurch College of Education Centenary Exhibition, curated by Bronwyn Taylor; “Look      This Way” COCA
1999- – Canterbury Art Teachers Association Exhibition Group Show, COCA
1997- Commissioned Sculpture installed Otago Polytechnic School of Physiotherapy
1997- Commission- Julanne Morris and Michael Wallace “Whariki” (Private Collection)
1997- Group Show Bond St Gallery, Dunedin “Internal Objects”
1995- Graduating Honours Solo Show, Bond St Gallery, Dunedin- “Holding On and Letting Go”
1995- Group Show Curated by Helen Telford, Dunedin Public Art Gallery “Takitahi”
1995- Commission Diane Halstead “Dancing” (Private Collection)
1994-Group Show No.5 Gallery, Dunedin “Icon Projections”
1993- Group Show Curated by Linda Tyler, Dunedin Public Art Gallery “Women On Women”
1993- Group Show Art House Gallery Dunedin, Suffrage Centenary Grant “Icon Project”
1992- Solo Show South Island Art Project Grant, Solutions Gallery, Dunedin “Myself As A Bag” in    connection with “The Body of the Land” Dunedin Public Art Gallery

Artist Exhibitions

  • 06th Mar 2018 - 24th Mar 2018: `Physis: Matter and Aliveness’ – Robyn Webster and `Hoopla’ – Karra Burrowes March 2018

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