'My childhood hobby has become my life'
What started as a childhood hobby became a way of life. Edward Webster's photography, currently on show at Hull's Studio Eleven Gallery, is the latest stage in his love for the "magic" of cameras.
"I always say my first photography qualification was a Cub Scout badge," said Edward, a commercial photographer and lecturer.
"Photography started for me then and has stayed with me throughout my life.
"It was a way I could express my creativity. I remember sending off the film and waiting a couple of weeks until it came back. I was fascinated by the magic of it."
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Edward's cyanotype images, so named because of their cyan blue colour, are currently being shown at the Humber Street gallery.
Entitled Blueprint, the exhibition sees Edward's images joining work by three other photographers who use the technique in their work.
Cyanotype was a photographic printing process developed during the Victorian era to save the costs of hand- copying or etching images.
"Because of the chemical processes in it the images came out blue, the origin of the word 'blueprint'," said Edward.
As a visual pun, he made a series of images of those connected with Blues music, one of which, an image of Jools Holland, is included in the exhibition.
The other works he has created for the show have been newly created and inspired by the surreal Dada movement of the early 20th century.
These include Vanitas War, which uses cut and paste images, including that of the atom bomb Little Boy, which was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.
"I didn't want to make another statement saying war is right or wrong," said Edward. "I wanted to make something which would attract the viewer and get them to ask themselves why war continues to happen."
Joining Edward's images are those by fellow photographers Andy Gillatt and Chris McDonnell, who work together to picture familiar places, such as the River Humber, in new ways.
Newcomer Matt Fratson also uses cyanotype photographs, with his images including a shot of two whales washed up at Spurn Point.
The exhibition's other featured artist, Fiona Thompson, creates earthenware ceramic objects.
Edward, a lecturer at Harrogate School of Art and Design, is known for his use of large format cameras, including a 11in x 14in home- built camera that was used in his artist residency at Knaresborough Castle.
He admits he is something of a collector of photographic equipment – and still has every camera he has used, whether it works or not.
"They are quite personal to me – they are not just tools, they are more than an inanimate object," he said. "I suppose I am a romantic."