Saint-Joachim-de-Shefford, Québec, Canada
A painter, filmmaker and photographer from Lac-St-Jean, Jean-Thomas Bédard began drawing and painting at the age of 14, which led him at 20 to the École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal and then to the NFB, where he worked for over 30 years as a director of animated films and documentaries. At the age of 32, he embarked on a year-long trip around the world, where he developed his passion for photography. This led to an exhibition entitled Sources on Traditional Lifestyles in Southeast Asia and Oceania, which was presented in Montreal and at Toronto's York University Gallery.
Today, the artist pursues a photographic exploration of materials and colors drawn from nature in photographic creations grouped into several series that range from abstraction to surrealism. A committed environmentalist, his inspiration comes from the visual richness of the St. Lawrence estuary coastline, its geology and ecosystems, a natural territory that nourishes his poetic imagination and his attachment to the land. His work is divided into 3 different series, all united by the same subject: the poetry of the St. Lawrence coastline and its islands. His work has been exhibited throughout Quebec, and many are part of private or public collections.
As an artist and committed environmentalist, Bédard creates exclusively with materials from nature, exploring the variables of an intimate geography that feeds on his sense of belonging to the territory.
For the past decade, he has traveled the shores of the St. Lawrence and its estuary, an emblematic place par excellence that has nourished the Quebecois imagination, to capture its essence. Using the shapes and textures captured on his coastline, the artist-photographer creates imaginary spaces, a kind of metaphor for the ties that humans maintain with their territory.
His work is divided into several series, each characterized by an original visual treatment. They evolve from micro-landscapes to digital collages evoking totemic figures or primitive deities, then turn to the fusion of several images to create a surreal or symbolic world. His vision is poetic and holistic, and his practice seeks to build bridges between nature and humanity. He invites us to transform our gaze from the narrative of human domination over nature to that of a collaborative nature of which human beings are as much a part as all other living beings.