Born 1981, Perth, Western Australia
Joshua Webb has drawn on his experience of working in industrial design to create a bricolage of imagery from available materials. A new dawn is an apocalyptic landscape, a desolate place where the rubbish stretches as far as the eye can see. A rising sun and portentous cloud only restore some sense of normalcy. Then, in the DVD version, above this same landscape hovers a distinctly unnatural and amorphous red shape. It moves, drapery floating as if shaped by a benevolent breeze, taking attention from the wreckage.
It's a neat conceptual fit, using a beautiful aesthetic to distract attention from sad realities. The reverse may also be true, with destruction drawing attention away from pursuit of beauty and ideas. Webb is driven by the contradictions in making art – and the need to make a space where art may exist in the world we inhabit – the rider being that in this period of late capitalism art may be simply a trophy for the rich.
The Gift is a baroque–looking assemblage of smashed sculpture and cultural totems. For Webb, who works across sculpture, assemblage, and painting, the aesthetic he desires drives his choice of media.
Louise Martin–Chew from her Samstag essay, Alternative Realities
2008 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship
2008 Master of Fine Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, USA
2005 Bachelor of Arts (Art) Honours, Curtin University of Technology, Perth