Indepth Arts News: |
"Edward Burtynsky: Landmarks"
2003-09-06 until 2003-11-09
Oakville Galleries is extremely fortunate to receive a very generous gift of twenty-three colour photographs from Edward Burtynsky. Landmarks features works from this incredible gift, many depicting Oakville’s oil refinery and the recycling plants in nearby Hamilton, Ontario. Burtynsky’s exactingly composed colour photographs often address the impact of industry on the natural landscape. Large enough to study from across the room, they are also detailed enough to warrant close-up inspection.
In Edward Burtynskys images of the Oakville oil refinery, miles of pipes twist, turn, and bend in a labyrinth of metal. The closer we get to the images, the more exactly we can observe an infinitesimal amount of detail as we travel deeper and deeper into the space of the photographs. Like all of Burtynksy’s work, the oil refinery is monumental and shows his keen feeling for theatrical form and colour, as well as a superb command of the large-format camera’s capacity to record details.
While the images in Landmarks are disarmingly poetic explorations of human interactions with our surroundings, by association they are also about the consequences of living within a global economy. Burtynsky does not attempt to use his work to implicate viewers in the traditional battle of ‘man versus nature’, but simply suggests that we co-exist with nature. His strength as a photographer is his ability to capture an unorthodox beauty while reminding us how our landscape has changed in the pursuit of progress.
Oil Refineries No. 6
Oakville, Ontario 1999