Canadian Photographer Edward Burtynsky has made capturing the the violent and destructive Landscapes of Indstrial Mining, Oil drilling, Shipping and Railroad building his life’s work. His work is featured in Public and Private Art collections worldwide including LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), The Guggenheim and MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) to name just a few.
His artist statement sums it up quite well:
“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.”
Have a look at some of our favourites below from various bodies of work. If you still want more visit his website – we strongly recommend this as there are so many incredible images that we could not even begin to feature all of them here! Don’t miss the entire section dedicated to China’s Industry.