Jessica Webster lives and works in Johannesburg. She obtained her BA Fine Arts degree from the Michaelis School of Art at the University of Cape Town and completed her Masters in Fine Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2009, with distinction. Webster’s exhibition I Knew You In This Dark took place at David Krut Projects, Johannesburg in August 2009. She was also one of the six artists participating in the Monotype Project exhibition at the DKW Workshop Gallery in October 2010.
Webster works primarily with oil paint and wax. Her work is based on a material and theoretical investigation and understanding of the concept of trauma. She seeks to negotiate the spaces where trauma is experienced both physically and psychologically. Trauma is tangible, physical and real; it makes impressions and leaves marks. The artist addresses this in her monotypes, for example, by placing her physical body onto the printing press, using her skin to displace the ink and creating autographic marks.
In her latest body of work, she investigates the surface in a dynamic way. Webster creates non-narrative works and focuses on the simultaneity between the subject and the surface, the real and the not real. The concept of trauma occurs between the subject and the surface; the wound is simultaneously inside and outside. Her solo exhibition, Original Skin, will run from 24 March - 30 April 2011 at David Krut Projects on Jan Smuts Avenue, Johannesburg.
So what is so ‘original’ about ‘skin’? Against traditional perspective, refusing its modernist alternative, the simultaneous holding of these contradictory positions forecast a ‘wild’ ambivalence – recourse to the un-form, the in-human, and the bestial becoming-animal.
- Jessica Webster -