Artist Tribune

Tess Roby: On Windows

Through original photographs, the Montreal-based photographer and musician shares her reflections on the quiet beauty of windows.

Tess Roby
April 18, 2018

Artists should be involved in the conversation, not just the subjects of it. That’s where the Artists’ Tribune comes in — we’re giving your favourite singers, songwriters and rappers the platform to talk about whatever they want, however they want, completely unfiltered.

Something about a window — its ability to carefully shed light on a subject, or frame the world outside in a certain way. I always choose the window seat when I travel, and despise the people who close the blinds on flights. The iconic William Eggleston photograph where sunlight glistens through a drink on an airplane tray table could be my favourite. A postcard of this photo has been taped to the wall of every apartment I’ve lived in in Montreal, and is now tearing at the edges. I’ve attempted to recreate this photo whenever I get the opportunity; a kind of personal homage that will never see the light of day.

Tess Roby
Tess Roby
Tess Roby

 

Tess Roby

(More notes on windows — a window above a kitchen sink to make the task of doing dishes seem less monotonous. A hotel room with a view is always more expensive than one without. Nan Goldin’s “Anthony by the Sea.” I hope my future includes a bay window on the sunny side of the street.)

Tess Roby
Tess Roby

Windows are not merely physical objects which people observe from; they can appear anywhere, openings in space which allow you to look closer. I often find water to act as a window, abstracting reality on the surface or framing the koi fish swimming beneath. Fences can also act as windows, creating ambiguous foregrounds to shape what’s behind them.

Tess Roby
Tess Roby

Somehow I am so drawn to views like these, and am often amazed when I come across these images in front of me. Last week in Los Angeles I sat next to a Koi Pond for what felt like hours, mesmerized by the fish and their colours and how they skimmed the surface of the water for air. Reflections of the palm trees above rippled and reflected as the koi danced below. For a moment I almost forgot to photograph it.

Tess Roby
Tess Roby

Tess Roby’s solo exhibition LIKE WATER A WINDOW runs April 28 – June 17 as part of Contact Photography Festival in Toronto. More details here. You can find out more about Tess Roby here

Her debut album Beacon is out April 20 via Italians Do It Better

And the launch shows are:

04.19.18 Sala Rossa, Montreal, QC 

 

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