Tulips and Bleeding Hearts in A Japanese Vase
T.M. GLASS (CANADIAN)
Toronto-based artist T.M. Glass’ artistic practice explores the historical, technological, and aesthetic conditions of photography to stretch it beyond its traditional definition. Their works have been showcased in multiple solo exhibitions and held in private collections in Canada, the United States, Britain, France, and Australia. Glass turned to photography as the primary mode of production after studying sculpture at the Ontario College of Art and Design and pursuing a distinguished career in writing and production for film and television. Glass uses rapidly advancing digital technology to celebrate the beauty of nature.
“All of my pictures are created in my own studio using a computer with hardware input from a large format high resolution camera and a digital painting tablet that allows onscreen painting. Several kinds of software allow the creation of the imagery and export of pictures to a high resolution, six foot digital printer. The finished works are limited editions of archival pigment prints on hand made archival rag paper.
I see digital software and hardware as the latest new tools for artists. I fully embrace the technology and use these digital tools in my work for mixing colours, collaging bits and pieces of images, hand painting with digital paint, adding and subtracting. In other words, doing whatever I might do if I were using physical paint with the difference being that digital allows greater complexity and far more options and creative opportunities.
The origin of the still life flower series came about while I was documenting the creation of a garden at my house with the first small point and shoot digital cameras that arrived on the domestic market. As better and better digital cameras and software were developed I got hooked. I always wanted to work with the latest and best digital camera. Those documentary garden pictures led to still life pictures becoming the central focus of my artist practice.
I began with cut flowers from my own garden in vases from my home collection. When I ran out of interesting vases I began to work with museum curators who allowed me to photograph vessels from the museum collections. I was not allowed to touch the vessels or put flowers in them. That meant I had to do two photoshoots: one at the museum and the other in my garden. I use digital paint to merge the photographs, and work with the digital paint to create the final painting.
Some of the flowers in my pictures are from gardens that are not mine. In England I photographed flowers from a garden the Queen Mother created. In India I worked with a florist who arranged flowers in vases I rented from an antique dealer. In Quebec I worked with the gardeners at the historic Jardins de Metis and their flowers were arranged in vases from the Jardin’s museum.”