Congratulations to Rebecca for having a selection of “The Glass Between Us” featured in the Irish BLOW Photo Magazine’s special issue about animals. You can read the editor introduction to the issue here: http://www.blowphotomagazine.com/issues/issue-nine/ You will also find an excerpt from the magazine’s Q&A with her below.—Alex Webb
Blow: What did your experience making this series teach you about animals and about people’s relationships to them in cities?
RNW: In the U.S. alone, more people visit zoos than all paid sporting events combined, which is a startling and thought-provoking fact. Looking back at The Glass Between Us, I hope my exploration of this complex relationship between people and animals in cities helps to illuminate some of its many facets and, hopefully, begins to raise questions about zoos, aquariums, and natural history museums, and our need for them.
Some of the images in this series evoke the aestheticized surfaces — such as colorful, hand-painted murals or dioramas — that often seduce us when we visit these places. Others suggest something darker lurking beneath the surface, such as the hint of violence or suffering, as in this photograph of an agitated lion pausing between rounds of his thunderous, insistent bellowing in his tight quarters at the Istanbul zoo. Other photographs raise questions of identity — that blurry boundary between human beings and animals — such as this somewhat abstracted image from a natural history museum in Turin. At first glance, it looks eerily like a pregnant woman with a tail, when, in fact, it’s actually an antiquated giraffe specimen that’s been crudely sewn.
Yet, sometimes it’s a sense of wonder that my camera captures, such as this image of the two shy Muslim women mesmerized by the jellyfish at the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut. Since this book focuses on the complicated relationship between people and animals in cities, wonder is definitely part of that complex equation. “Wonderment never quite gets used to whatever it is looking at,” notes the critic Charles Baxter.
Leica Store Miami/Artisan Obscura Scholarship
One tuition-free scholarship to attend the upcoming Finding Your Vision @ Leica Store Miami weekend workshop with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, Jan. 17-19, 2014
Open to all photographers 18 and older, professionals and serious amateurs alike. Work by all kinds of photographers will be considered — from art photographers to documentary photographers, from college students to seasoned professionals — the only stipulation being that none of the images submitted have been dramatically altered digitally.
Scholarship Application Opens: Friday, Nov. 15, 2013
Deadline: Friday, November 29, 2013
Notification of winner: Saturday, December 7, 2013
JUDGES: MaryAnne Golon, Washington Post Director of Photography and photographers Maggie Steber, Alex Webb, and Rebecca Norris Webb
TO ENROLL: Please submit the following materials to the email address — firstname.lastname@example.org — and write WORKSHOP SCHOLARSHIP on the subject line.
A. In the email, please include the following as a single word doc:
1. Name and email
2. 100 word statement about your series or project
3. 100 word bio, which includes your photographic background and website or online link to your photographs
4. Two names and emails of references of people familiar with your photographic work, such as professors, workshop teachers, fellow photographers, editors, curators, publishers.
B. Additionally, in this email please also attach 10 small jpgs from one project or series, each image10 inches on the longest side, 72 dpi
- “Our landscapes contain every part of us, Webb seems to say, the broken and the whole.”—Scott Gast, Orion Magazine review of “My Dakota,” November/December 2013 issue
UPCOMING WORKSHOPS, EXHIBITIONS, AND TALKS WITH ALEX AND REBECCA:
——Friday Jan. 17 thru Sunday Jan. 19, FINDING YOUR VISION @ LEICA STORE MIAMI. Places are limited in this new weekend workshop in Miami. For more more information, including how to enroll, please visit:
——Saturday May 3 thru Friday May 10, FINDING YOUR VISION, NEW YORK. For more information including how to enroll, please visit:
——Friday, Oct. 18, 2013 thru Feb. 2, 2014, “My Dakota” and “Violet Isle” at the Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona, FL:
PUBLIC TALKS IN DECEMBER: Tuesday, Dec. 3, at the Leica Store Miami and Thursday, Dec. 5th at the Miami Street Photography Festival