Tim Tate could truly be described as a mixed-media artist. His glass reliquaries are formed from combining glass cases, objects and electronic circuitry, such as speakers, with a small video screen. The screen displays a short piece of work that plays from a DVD player housed in the bottom of the glass case. The DVD player was co-developed by Tate and an electronics optics company in California. The design was inspired by the realization that the artist was not interested in continually repairing his work, and wanted a long lasting conservation design that would appeal to museum curators. The development of the small, compact player also means that the sculptures are much more self-contained and don't feel as though the technology is imposing itself on the work. There have been a number of these artifacts produced, each combining regularly appearing iconography like hands held in prayer, or fruits. Tim Tate's work feels as though it might have been found in an old church somewhere, flickering away in the darkness for centuries. Combined with religious iconography, the video images could be telling the story of a saint from any number of religions. These artifacts wouldn't be out of place in a film by Jodorowsky. They have that same sense of power and playfulness, while imposing a seriousness that comes with the fragility of their structure. There is a sense of combining craft skills with digital media, to evolve a new sensibility that brings something new to both of these often diverse art forms.
The Washington Glass School is a unique educational program in the Nation's Capital area, operating as the sculptural glass education, artistic and community center and resource for the mid-Atlantic region, serving students, artists and the general public. It encourages research and exploration of new techniques in all aspects of glass (blown, cast, fused, cold worked) as well as other media such as steel, ceramics, lighting and concrete. Our goal is to introduce artists in other media to the depth, processes and joys of glass to enhance their work.