Woman-made nature – Cecelia Webber

Meet Cecelia Webber. She is a canadian artist, born in 1984 in a small town in New Hampshire. She spent a lot of her chilhood outdoors, has a neuroscience diploma and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (University of Southern California). Cecelia Webber lives in Montreal and became famous in 2008. She brings together digital images of vegetals and animals made of human female bodies.

Blue LilacCecelia Webber, Blue Lilac, photo-montage

Source image : http://ceceliawebber.com

Cecelia Webber’s work has been recognized as « museum-quality fine art ».

She produces tessellations of figures. She basically assembles pictures one by one in order to get a bigger shape. Her work with this particular technique exclusively revolves around representation of vegetals and animals. Solely representations of living organisms. There are no representations of an electric wire (for example) in this particular work of hers.

When the inspiration takes her, she starts taking photographs of the subject she wants to reproduce. She then sketches the models’ poses on a notebook, and starts photoshooting.

The pictures of the models are taken one by one, and undergo graphic creation software filtering. Most of her works feature over three hundred photographs, and some more than seven hundreds. A single composition requires between a week and three months. There sometimes needs a hundred photoshoots to be done for a single element.

CW-NightOwl-1000Cecelia Webber, Night Owl, photo montage

Source image : http://ceceliawebber.com

Cecelia Webber works with very high resolution devices. So high that her work can be printed on 6 feet high material (approximatively 2 meters).

One of her objectives is to implicate the spectator and have him acknowledge his place in nature, and a subsequent responsibility. Or at least question that responsibility.

She also challenges the conflict between the shame and self-confidence there is in nudity. « how people understand themselves in relation to their perceived realities ». (Sartre’s mecanism of shame) (what you think when you take a look at yourself). Therefore, the nakedness she exhibits and orchestrates has no erotic signification. The treatment of nudity only gives it esthetic purposes and value, merely a gear in a clockwork.

Most of her models are volunteers and not necessarily professional, nor used to modelling. Perfect strangers.

Her intent to show nature and natural shapes for what they are goes as far as to avoid cheating on the models’ corpulence. She will cut a picture if she needs to, but will not « photoshop » a body so as to promote an archetype. She protests the apology of youth and perfect look and hairdress. That frame of mind doesn’t prevent her from making a massive use of digital manipulation software, though she merely alters color, and cuts shapes she needs. The only source for her lighting is actual sunlight.

Her works have been compared to those of Anne Geddes and Carl Warner.

Bleeding Heart

Cecelia Webber, Bleading Heart, photo montage

Source image : http://ceceliawebber.com

Dominic Ellison

UPJV – L1 Histoire de l’Art

Pour en apprendre davantage :

Huffington Post, (article :June, 1st 2012) (USA)

The Telegraph, (article :November 1th 2013) (UK)

The Daily Mail (article : November 6th 2013) (UK)


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