Rebecca Webb's Pictorial Haikus of the Mind's Eye
By Neil Kendricks
As an artist and photographer, fine-art photographer Rebecca Louise Webb is a miracle worker with fleeting images flashing before her eyes. The Virginia-born artist is always searching for her next picture; a seeker forever on the lookout for arresting images to materialize out of the chaos of ordinary life.
Webb's distinct bodies of photographic art offer more than tableaux of beautiful imagery. Her images are framed as questions for the viewer to solve by sharing their inquiry. Such is the case with her ongoing portraiture of her teen-age son Jack in the series "Mother: Nature" where her youthful subject on the cusp of adulthood is at the epicenter of an evolving universe where he free to ask his own questions. Likewise, the open-ended narratives of "Sutures: Stories with Seams" invite us to get ensnared in their storytelling webs of intrigue and mystery. The photographs function as vehicles for the artist to simultaneously explore and reach out to her collaborators who are often her inner circle of family and friends.
The result of Webb's active and probing quest is never less than astonishing. This is especially true in her latest series "Fear and Flora in America Deserta" where the flapping fabric of a photographic backdrop becomes a surrogate for the human figure juxtaposed against the wild colors and natural light found amidst the recent super bloom in Southern California desertscapes. Here, the natural landscape suddenly becomes a theatrical stage for unseen players to partake in its riotous colors and thriving plant life.
The camera provides Webb with the means to unlock mysteries waiting for her eyes only to discover. These aforementioned observations are based on my first-hand experience when this talented photographer took my portrait. The photographic session transformed a living room into a make-shift studio as the shoot became an active, participatory event mediated by Webb's ubiquitous camera.
Then, something happens. Webb's concepts take flight at a rapid-fire pace. I follow the photographer's directions. I trust her instincts and relax. Behind the camera's viewfinder, she sees an image swim into focus. The camera's shutter opens and closes. Again and again, the photographer finds the right frame to capture a distinct visual thought in her compositions.
Watching Webb immersed in her creative work, I smile inwardly to myself with the knowledge that Webb is a true artist who answers her personal call to adventure by doing what she does best - creating stunning photographs. Lucky for us, the viewer is always the ultimate beneficiary of her quest as the images invite one to follow her lead down the rabbit hole of her imagination. Like all great artists, past and present, Webb seeks to cure our collective blindness of the beauty and possibilities that were there all along.
Neil Kendricks is a filmmaker, artist, photographer, writer, educator and the Film Curator