Edward Burtynsky (born 1955) Canadian Artist
The work of Edward Burtynsky is so vast that one article on him is definitely not enough. I don’t really know when I first saw the work of this huge Artist, but it was for sure a big revelation. And I can’t separate the idea of showing the massive worldwide construction site of the will of revealing the terrible imprint of human being in Earth. The only thing I know is that I can be both captivate by pure images of nature and bewitched by industrial portraits of contemporary time.
The first series I want to show here is dedicated to Ships.
The series Shipbreaking focusing on the dismantling of ships coming from around the world.
The series Shipyards dealing with China’s largest mid-size shipyard located in Qili Port, Zhejiang province “According to the Chinese Commission for Science, Technology and National Defense, by 2015 China is expected to become the world’s largest shipbuilder, with annual output reaching 24 million deadweight tons, or 35 per cent of the world’s total.”
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.