Wednesday November 30, 2016

Photographer Tanja Tiziana explores the art of the neon sign in her new book

Photographer Tanja Tiziana stopped by the q studio in Toronto, Ont. to discuss her new book, Buzzing Lights, which is a collection of photographs documenting neon signs across North America.

Photographer Tanja Tiziana stopped by the q studio in Toronto, Ont. to discuss her new book, Buzzing Lights, which is a collection of photographs documenting neon signs across North America. (Olivia Pasquarelli/CBC)

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You may not think twice when you see a neon sign at your local convenience store or theatre, but Tanja Tiziana will make you see neon signs in a whole new way.

The Toronto-based photographer has spent the last 11 years travelling around North America and taking photos of neon signs, from iconic theatres to the abandoned gas stations that dot long highways.

Buzzing Lights

Photographer Tanja Tiziana's new book, Buzzing Lights, captures neon lights and signs across North America. (Tanja Tiziana)

It's a hobby that she first picked up on while taking road trips down to the U.S. with her friend, but once her friend moved to Vancouver, the road trips became less frequent — but Tiziana's obsession with neon only grew stronger. 

"I wondered if there were any great signs out there," she says, of Vancouver. "So I looked up Vancouver neon signs on Google images and Vancouver was actually the neon capital of North America." 

Buzzing Lights

Photographer Tanja Tiziana's new book, Buzzing Lights, captures neon lights and signs across North America. (Tanja Tiziana)

Needing to know how Vancouver turned from neon central to a city known for its mountains and trees, Tiziana set out to photograph the remaining signs she could find there, and everywhere else in North America. Her new book, Buzzing Lights, is a compilation of her many trips across the continent and a documentation of the signs she has seen along the way.

Buzzing Lights

Photographer Tanja Tiziana's new book, Buzzing Lights, captures neon lights and signs across North America. (Tanja Tiziana)