The photographs that constitute George Webber’s extraordinary photographic journey of the Canadian prairies are a rare blend of art and documentation. Webber gives us images that speak of the past and the ephemeral. The fleeting quality of life and human endeavor, the cyclical nature of time and our relationship to place are here considered through the lens of a photographer intimately connected to his surroundings and acutely aware of the passage of time.
The prairies are Webber’s physical and spiritual home. Webber’s connection to the places he photographs is palpable, his interpretations are direct, sincere and invested with a sense of history and intimacy that move them from the ordinary into the realm of the extra-ordinary. Haunting, touching, evocative and enigmatic, these images occupy a place somewhere between everywhere and nowhere.
Tobi Bruce, Art Gallery of Hamilton
Photography has become the lingua franca of our globalized world. Yet amidst the throng only a few unique talents create images that are lasting, powerful and, like all great art, intangible. George Webber is among them. An intense affinity with his subjects allows Webber to reveal the cast-aside as beauty.
Time’s passage is central to Webber’s photography. Time is stilled, yet alive; ramshackle buildings along highways take centre stage, detritus becomes high art. The contradictions that this book uncovers amidst ordinary towns boggle the mind. He sees what most of us overlook: The strength and beauty of character that permeates rural Alberta.
Agnieszka Metejko, Alberta Views magazine
All of his work is linked to “an affection and respect for the spiritual,” and the power of his images results from the emotional attraction he has to his subject. Through Webber’s eyes we see not only that which is, but that which might have been.
Rick Pilger, The University of Alberta
George Webber brings a somber, gritty vision to bear on the Alberta and Saskatchewan prairies that casts an almost morbid, gothic atmosphere over the social landscape. Webber seems to emphasize the mysterious and unknowable in other people’s lives.
Nancy Tousley, Calgary Herald
Webber’s photographs declare a great and watchful suffering, hushed with the endurance of time. These are pictures of endlessness, records of held breath, of boundless and enduring distance, remote and hypnotic as reticence.
Aritha van Herk, Canadian author
Photographer George Webber has a deft sense of place. In This Place Calgary 2004 – 2011, Webber’s most recent collection peers outwards to the city’s streets and public spaces. Webber’s fences, power lines and commercial signs relentlessly restate the clutter that underpins urban life. Webber explores the contemporary city as that untamed creature that has adapted by deviating from the aspirations of its planners. At times, he heightens the anomie or uses light and saturated colours to infuse a scene of broken paving, pawn shops and Dollar-Plus signs with a lushness that seems to refute its banality. Webber is at his best when he exploits his compositional talents, documenting the city’s painterly qualities and collage effects.
Nikki Sheppy, Alberta Views magazine
In these images we recognize the space of intimacy that has been opened to him by the people he photographs, and at the same time we are aware of their privacy, which they retain unviolated.
Stephen Osborne, Geist Magazine
George Webbers evocative and intimate portraits have the stillness of a Vermeer painting.
Patricia Ainslie, Glenbow
George Webber is on a journey that has as much to do with his interior life as with the imagery he creates. He connects with his subjects by bringing an unwavering openness and honesty to the process of taking photographs.
Wes Lafortune, Photolife magazine