For over 25 years, Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky has documented how our landscape is being transformed by industry. Both beautiful and horrifying, his large-format images bring up unsettling questions about production, consumption, progress and sustainable living.
The following photographs, selected from his series “Quarries,” “China,” and “Ships,” provide a global perspective on the cycle of extraction, production and recycling. They provide a visual journey through the quarries of Vermont; China’s manufacturing conglomerate; the construction of the Three Gorges Dam and destruction of the nearby cities and towns that displaced over 1.2 million people; and ultimately, to the manual dismantling of oil tanks in Bangladesh.
They open a troubling window onto our modern existence and its consequences.
Edward Burtynsky is known as one of Canada’s most respected photographers. His imagery explores the intricate link between industry and nature, combining the raw elements of mining, quarrying, manufacturing, shipping, oil production and recycling into eloquent, highly expressive visions that find beauty and humanity in the most unlikely of places. His remarkable photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes are included in the collections of over fifty major museums around the world. www.edwardburtynsky.com | @edwardburtynsky