Christine Webster

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1958

Iron Tulips 2

  • 1981
  • Black and white fibre-based print hand-printed on Agfa paper
  • The Jim Barr and Mary Barr Gift, 2011
  • 2011/019

Christine Webster uses photography to explore ideas about gender, sexuality, representation and identity. Her carefully staged works subvert expectations about power and control. Here, a woman stands on a balcony with a bouquet of flowers. On paper, it’s a conventional romantic image that affirms traditional associations between femininity and beauty. These metal ‘tulips’, however, resemble a quiver of arrows, and the figure is deliberately androgynous, playing with our certainty about what we see. It’s a reminder that the female body – often linked, like flowers, with beauty and pleasure – is also a source of strength, and sometimes danger.

(Perilous: Unheard Stories from the Collection, 6 August 2022- )

Exhibition History