As a fine art photographer working in traditional and alternative processes, Jacqueline Webster seeks to bring the elements of fine craftsmanship to the photographic arts. Using a variety of chemicals and support materials she handcrafts each image utilizing film negatives and wet darkroom processes. Her straightforward modern aesthetic combined with these historic techniques results in a strong artistic voice and a unique sense of beauty in her works.
Jacqueline has shown her work at venues around the country including core new art space in Denver, Colorado, the Red Gallery in Savannah, Georgia, the MPLS Photo Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and has been included in the permanent collection at Oklahoma City Community College. She currently Jacqueline Webster has been creating photographic works for more than 25 years. Private photography lessons and high school video art classes led to a summer at the New York State Summer School of the Media Arts, college-level coursework at Rochester Institute of Technology in non-silver photo processes, and a scholarship to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in video and completed coursework in photography. Her training in the technical aspects and aesthetics of video production continues to inform her work, which often includes a strong formal sense of composition combined with a pride of craftsmanship.
A child of the suburbs, she has always been fascinated by the landscapes and architecture of both city and country, and this is evident even in her earliest works. As an adult, Jacqueline continues to explore the meaning and qualities that make these spaces unique and document her intimate vision of them. After nearly losing her vision in one eye in 2006, Jacqueline taught herself to both use a camera and see in three dimensions after a series of eye surgeries spanning three years. This experience led her to be more cognizant of visual textures, how they are expressed in the photographic print, and to rededicate herself to historic photographic processes and exploring different types of supports for her images.
“I’m interested in the hidden environment – those places and spaces that we walk past every day and never really look at closely. While the places and things I photograph may be expansive, the images I create are meant to be quiet little gems that draw you in to experience all that it has to offer.”
A traditionalist at heart, Jacqueline continues to use medium-format photography as the starting point of her work, allowing the grain of the film to become the first layer of texture to be expressed in the final image. Each photograph is hand-processed in a wet darkroom in an exacting series of steps, and while her silver gelatin prints are processed to conventional archival standards, each of the alternative processes requires its own special knowledge of chemistry and handling. After enlarged negatives are made in the darkroom through the traditional inter-positive method, the photographic emulsion is prepared by mixing the raw chemicals with distilled water and is hand-coated on the chosen support material. Once sandwiched with the enlarged negative and exposed to strong ultraviolet light the image is hand processed in the appropriate chemistry and dried. Because of the chemical processes at work, the final image cannot be judged for several days after it has dried.
Jacqueline’s work is included in the permanent collection of the Oklahoma City Community College, and is included in several private collections around the United States. Her work has been shown at the MPLS Photo Center in Minneapolis, CORE New Art Space in Denver, and at Denver International Airport. She currently shows her work at juried gallery shows and art festivals across the country, and is the recipient of the 2011 juror’s choice award for photography at Colorado ArtFest at Castle Rock, and an award of excellence from Arts Festival Oklahoma. Her work history includes working for a program that teaches job readiness skills through the arts, and she is currently a contract instructor at Colorado Free University where she teaches matting and framing techniques.