Joe Webster’s landscape-graffiti paintings explore the complex relationships between man and planet.
As a plein-air painter Joe Webster’s work literally originate in the breath-taking, freedom of the great outdoors. Charged by this expansive wilderness and the subtle intimacy of nature Joe’s canvases are interrupted by bold urban gestures encapsulating an escape from it all and a striking reminder of modern challenges.
Firstly, I crave being in the great outdoors, nothing equals this freedom, secondly I am a painter. The wild, windswept world is a timeless, incredible natural playground, I try to tap into some of that energy. Painting enables me to spend long periods of time quietly observing nature, I feel deep gratitude to be able to spend such time working in this way. I find painting outdoors humbling and enriching; it can be elating, it can be unbearable, this process gives my life perspective and purpose, it makes me feel alive, nourished and part of something greater and more important than myself.
I am an outsider to street-art, fascinated by it’s welcoming and abrasive versatility. There are huge practical benefits of using synthetic graffiti media in weather but more fundamentally my unique landscape-graffiti method affords me vast fertile ground to explore the fragile and interconnected relationships we have with our environment.
I love being outdoors, it gives my painting purpose and energy and it makes me feel alive and part of something greater than myself.
My work studies tides, clouds, the changing and evolving patterns of species and places them in relationship with man’s presence. Things in the natural world move in a huge variety of different speeds relative to the human world; geological time, the seasons, the path of the sun or the appearance and behaviour of a mammal relative to a bird. When I immerse myself in these different timescales and lose my sense of time I gain the sense of a greater context with intricate connected structures, cycles, values and relationships. After studying a landscape over days, tracking the nuances of light, the wind’s breath or the behaviour of the animals who live there, I discover new-found intimacy and compassion for that space. Conversely street-art as a fundamentally urban, man-made language enables me to interrupt my canvases exploring the impact, presence and relationship we have to our living world.