Joe Webb’s Stardust exhibition
Designed to collide with his space-themed ‘Stardust’ exhibition at 45 Park Lane, artist Joe Webb shares with us a fascinating insight into his art. Trust us it’s truly out of this world.
How it all started
I used to keep the collages I created hidden in a drawer. I was only really making them for my own satisfaction, until a friend persuaded me to enter one of them into a Saatchi Gallery competition. Before I knew what was happening, I had won the competition and was exhibiting my work in the Saatchi Gallery. It just goes to show, if you do what you love all sorts of possibilities can open up to you.
Inspired by the universe
I often use the theme of space and the cosmos in my art. I like those looking at my work to consider how we’re all just a tiny speck in a vast and mysterious universe. It’s a great leveller to think about the almost infinite amount of solar systems out there. It reminds us of our own insignificance and helps keep life in perspective.
I like working with my hands, away from the computer. It’s quite a discipline as it means there are no options to resize or manipulate the images, I just have to cut them out with scissors or a scalpel and work with what I have. Rather than searching for images online, I go out into the ‘real’ world to find them, which brings an element of luck and serendipity into my work. With persistence I usually find plenty of interesting images and store them away until I find just the right use for them.
All in the name
For a number of reasons, I’ve called my exhibition for 45 Park Lane ‘Stardust’. Firstly, it’s the title of a favourite album of mine by jazz musician John Coltrane; I listen to a lot of his music whilst I work. I find jazz music in particular helps me find a zone in which I can get lost in. Secondly, Stardust refers to much of the work’s themes of space and the cosmos. I’ve used a lot of diamond dust on the canvas pieces and prints to represent the stardust we’re all made from.
Much of the work has been designed to fit into the atmospheric interior of 45 Park Lane. The diamond dust really sparkles in the subdued lighting of BAR 45, where you’ll find the smaller and more intimate silkscreens. For the lobby area, I’ve created larger canvases for an initial wow factor as soon as you enter the hotel. It’s an invitation to take a moment and live in the now, without any concerns about the past or the future.