Edward Burtynsky

Edward Burtynsky

On View March 17 to May 15, 2013

Gallery Stratford is pleased to present the second half of the gift to the Collection by world-renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky. The exhibition underscores important bodies of work from the artist’s portfolio across two decades, highlighting residual landscapes in Canada, US, India, Bangladesh and China.

Nature transformed through industry is a predominant theme in my work. I set course to intersect with a contemporary view of the great ages of man; from stone, to minerals, oil, transportation, silicon, and so on. To make these ideas visible I search for subjects that are rich in detail and scale yet open in their meaning. Recycling yards, mine tailings, quarries and refineries are all places that are outside of our normal experience, yet we partake of their output on a daily basis.

These images are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear. We are drawn by desire ‒ a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success. Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times. 

– Edward Burtynsky 

About the Permanent Collection: The Gallery holds in trust for the community over 1000 paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and photographs by significant Canadian and International artists.  The important acquisition of 39 photographs by Edward Burtynsky was the catalyst to creating a new strategy for revitalizing the Collection through contemporary photography and video, adding works by innovative artists such as Suzy Lake in 2011 and David Rokeby in 2013.

Image (left): China Recycling #5, Phone Dials (detail) , Zeguo, Zhejiang Province, China, 2004, 4/9. Collection of Gallery Stratford, Gift of the Artist.
Front Page Image: Dam #7: Yangtze River, China, 2005.  Collection of Gallery Stratford, Gift of the Artist.