Go See: Edward Burtynsky’s Australian Landscapes at Flowers East, London through February 9th 2009

January 23rd, 2009

Edward-Burtynsky-Jubilee-Operations-1-2007Jubilee Operations #1 (2007) by Edward Burtynsky, via Flowers East

Australian Landscapes by Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky, now on view at Flowers East in London, captures various landscapes of Australian mines. They document iron ore operations at Mount Whaleback, salt mining in the Pilbara regionm the Kalgoorlie super pit, and various open cut nikel mines in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia.

Nature transformed through industry is a predominant theme in Burtynsky’s 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,” he says. Burtynsky has explored China’s Three Gorges Dam Project, Italy’s marble quarries, and the open-pit copper mining procedures in Western Australia that appear in these photographs.

Edward Burtynsky: Australian Landscapes
Flowers East
82 Kingsland Road, London E2 8DP
through February 9, 2009
Exhibition Page: Edward Burtynsky: Australian Landscapes

Edward-Burtynsky-Silver Lake Operations #1-Lake Lefroy-Western Australia-2007Silver Lake Operations #1, Lake Lefroy Western Australia (2007) by Edward Burtynsky, via Flowers East

Most of Burtynsky’s photographs were taken from the air during low-level chopper flights.  In order to take shots from such a level, he had to use regular film rather than large format. The details of the minescapes are still there but are smaller and more distant defamiliarizing the landscape. Rich blankets of color show the deep contours of colossal mining pits while back roads lead to similar pits and red brown soil mounds near salt lakes.

Edward-Burtynsky-Super Pit #1-Kalgoorlie-Western Australia-2007Super pit #1, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia (2007) by Edward Burtynsky, via Flowers East

Edward Burtynsky was born of Ukrainian heritage in 1955 in St. Catherines, Ontario. He studied at the Ryerson Polytechnic Institute where he graduated from the Photographic Arts and Media Studies Program with a Bachelor in Applied Arts and Niagra College where he received a diploma in graphic arts. His photographs are found in over fifty museums, many corporate collections, and books.

Edward Burtynsy-Silver Lake Operations #14, Lake Lefroy, Western Australia-2007Silver Lake Operations #14, Lake Lefroy, Western Australia (2007) by Edward Burtynsky, via Flowers East