Professor Catrin Webster

Professor Catrin Webster is interested in contemporary, post digital painting practice and has recently worked with film, performance and installation, as part of collaborative research with Exeter and Glasgow Universities, funded by the AHRC and Arts Council of Wales.

Dr Catrin WebsterCatrin has exhibited widely both in the United Kingdom and overseas, including solo exhibitions in Reykjavik, Rome and group exhibitions curated by the Ikon, Birmingham, Mostyn, Llandudno and the Qatar International Cultural Festival, Doha. Examples of Catrin's work can be seen in both private and public collections, including the Arts Council of Great Britain Collection, Hayward Gallery, London.

Residencies and scholarships include, Abbey Scholar in Painting at the British School in Rome, British Council, Artist-in-Residence, Doha, Qatar, Creative Wales Award, Wakelin Purchase Prize, The Geoffrey Crawshay Memorial Travel Scholarship, Arts and Business Award, British  Embassy Iceland,Artist-in-Residence, Reykjavík, Green Mountain College, Artist-in-Residence, Vermont, USA and Samling Foundation, Artist-in Residence, Lake District.

Academic interests are centred on concepts relating landscape to philosophical thought about place and space.

With its origins in PhD research (Intimate Distance 2006-10) and dialogues with Professor Peter Merriman, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, University of Aberystwyth (published 2009), Webster’s recent work as Leverhulme Artist in Residence (2012-13), University of Exeter addresses the practice of painting at the intersection of cultural geography, spatial theory and fine art. Professor John Wylie, Department of Geography and Life Science, University of Exeter, states that, ‘geographers have long been interested in art, and in particular landscape art – both figurative and abstract – because of the key role it plays in shaping senses of nature, natural beauty and value, and cultural identities’.

Current collaborative research with Professor Wylie, has enabled critical reflection on a number of perennial conceptual issues for both geographers and visual artists in which the cultural geography of the practice of contemporary landscape painting/drawing is explored. These include the character and formatting of spaces and objects in painterly perception, questions of proximity, distance and relation, and finally the overarching question of spatial representation and ‘semblance’ in visual art.

The overarching research question which underpins this on-going research is centred on the apprehension and performance of space and the rendering of experience through arts practice. The concept of ‘Lived Abstraction’ is key, Wylie states that:

'The ‘’lived’’ and the ‘’abstract’’ are often placed in opposition to one another. The lived often connotes the immediate, the emotional, and the bodily, or sensual while the abstract would seem to refer to the relational, the diagrammatic and the mental.  

Alternatively the lived might construe the grounded and the common-sensical, and the abstract by contrast a kind of scholastic unworldliness and innocence.  But as with so many such pairings that attempt to divide, experience, we can argue – no pure moment of presently ‘lived’ stands apart from its apprehension and recuperation, from forethought and memory. And equally no abstraction – no idea, no image, theorem or plan, could ultimately sever the lifeline to the lived on which it surreptitiously relies.’‌

Tel: +44 (0) 1972 481285 

Full academic profile

Merriman, P and Webster, C, Travel Projects: landscape, art, movement, Cultural Geographies, Volume 16, Number 4, (London 2009), pp. 525 – 535,
Webster, C. The journey and movement, repetition and time: Drawing within my visual practice, Journal of Visual Art Practice, Volume 11 issue 1 (2012)

Exhibition Record (summary):
2014. A Survey of Contemporary Landscape, Aberystwyth Arts Centre
2014. Correspondences: Centenary Exhibition of Paintings by Contemporary Artists in Response to R.S.Thomas' Life and Writing, Oriel Plas Glynn y Wedd
2014. Collectanea, Coleg sir Gar
2013. Along the Surface: Some Big Paintings and a Motorbike, the Gas Works gallery, Aberystwyth
2013. Red Road, Glasgow, in collaboration with Streetlevel Photoworks, Glasgow, Future memory in RedRoad, performance
2013. Innovation Centre, University of Exeter, Leverhulme Artist in Residence Exhibition, Lived Abstraction
2012. Centre of Contemporary Art, Glasgow, 1000 Colours Blue
2012. Taliesin Art Centre, Swansea, City of Sea and Sky: solo exhibition
2011. St Davids Hall, Cardiff, Artemisia
2010. Networking and Electronic Media (NEM) Barcelona,European Summit, exhibition, invited artist
2009. Institute of Islamic and Arabic Studies, Exeter, De-placing Future Memory
2009. J.W.T. Gallery, London, solo exhibition, In Transit –Unrestricted View, solo exhibition
2008. Oriel Davies, Newtown, RE: Drawing
2007. In Transit, Aberystwyth Arts Centre
2005. Museum Of Saint-Brieuc, France, solo exhibition, In Transit –Unrestricted View
2004. Doha, Qatar, Exhibiting Artist Qatar International Cultural Festival
2004. Museum of Contemporary Art, Reykjavik, Terra Firma, solo exhibition
2003. Gallery by the Lake, Keswick, Lake District, Oriel: View Finder, solo exhibition