CoSydney Artshine Gallery: Friday, February 13 – Saturday, February 28, 2015
Media opening: Thursday, February 12 4.30pm-7.30pm
General opening: Saturday, February 14 3.30 – 6.30pm
Address: 3 Blackfriars Street, Chippendale.
Internationally acclaimed Sydney photographer & artist Carrie Webster presents a vivid re-imagining of the Chinese horoscope in her latest exhibition, Year of the Sheep.The exhibition will coincide with Chinese New Year on Thursday, February 19, which also marks the beginning of Chinese astrology’s Year of the Sheep. According to astrology, the year will be marked by peace, harmony and compromise.
The 12-piece collection features every animal sign in childishly surreal landscapes and settings inspired by the characteristics of that sign, with the focus of the collection being the gentle and compassionate sheep. Each piece has been created through Webster’s usual process of digitally manipulating photographs she has taken of fruits and vegetables. The strong ox, for example, is created using a beetroot, while the beautiful horses are shaped from sweet potato and spring onion as the main ingredients.
“I love the idea that millions of people believe that they are intrinsically connected to their astrology animal, and that this gives them hope and guidance and a framework for living their lives,” Webster says. “The mythology around how these animals became part of the Chinese astrology signs is intriguing in itself, and lends to story-telling.”
Webster’s sometimes dark and always fantastically whimsical work has been likened to that of filmmaker and illustrator Tim Burton; appealing to young imaginations and the young at heart, it has elements of naivism and is narrative in style, inspired by folklore, fables and fairy tales.
“I am ultimately inspired by many things, but my core reason for creating is to express something bigger than myself,” Webster says.
“I love to believe that there is a greater universal spirit that is pure love, but I also believe that there must be an equal and opposing force that also exists as part of the universal law of opposites. This is the basis for all my work and inspiration, and hidden amongst the whimsical and the happy, there can always lurk something darker. This is what is great story telling is all about.”
A number of pieces from the collection will be available for purchase as prints from December 2014 at www.artfolio.com.au, with a full release at the time of the exhibition. Prints can be personalized to include, for example, a child’s name or birthdate, to make for a unique gift for newborns and young children.