Edward Burtynsky: Encounters

Edward Burtynsky, Uranium Tailings #12, Elliot Lake, Ontario, 1995, Collection of Glenbow Museum

About the Exhibition

Inspired by Edward Burtynsky's view that his images can "function as reflecting pools of our times" we wondered what meaning Canadians would find in this photographer's masterfully composed images.

When compelled to reflect upon Burtynsky's images of landscapes transformed by industry– quarrying, mining, recycling, manufacturing, rail cutting and ship breaking - what would be our commentary on these landscapes shaped by our own desires and needs?

Edward Burtynsky, Nickel Tailings #30, Sudbury, Ontario, 1996, Collection of Glenbow MuseumFor this exhibition, 30 Canadians, representing diverse views and life perspectives, each chose a work by Burtynsky. The result is a combination of places and moments Burtynsky has photographed over the course of his career, combined with written commentary by the guest curators whose reflections are thoughtful, thought-provoking, sometimes surprising and always personal.

As an artist, Burtynsky has said that he searches for subjects that are rich in detail and scale yet open in their meaning. By considering the meaning others derive from these compelling works Encountersprompts us to look at these images anew, creating opportunities for dialogue about humanity's impact on the landscapes Edward Burtynsky photographs.

Guest curators for Edward Burtynsky: Encounters include Canadians from across the country:

Robert Bourdeau, Marc Boutin, Jim Brown, Barbara Budd, Ronnie Burkett, Elizabeth Cannon, Tim Caulfield, Cam Christianson, David Cohlmeyer, Phil Currie, Marie Delorme, Phil Fontaine, Glendale School Grade 5/6 Students, Tanya Harnett, Linh Ly Martin Magne, Jeff Melanson, Danny Michel, Bill Phipps, Ron Renaud, Tara Shaw, Fred Stenson, George Stromboulopoulos, Students from Bearspaw Adult Learning Centre Mark Tewksbury, Robert Thirsk, W. Brett Wilson

Edward Burtynsky, Temagami #18, Abandoned Iron Ore Mines, Sherman Mines, Temagami, Ontario, 1991, Collection of Glenbow Museum


Edward Burtynsky's website



Film Screening: Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands
Saturday January 21, 6:00pm

Out For Lunch Talk: The Architect, Marc Boutin

Thursday, February 2, 12:00pm

Out For Lunch Talk: The "Protected Places" Person, Martin Magne

Thursday, February 23, 12:00pm


In Concert: Danny Michel

Friday, February 24, 7:00pm


Out For Lunch Talk: The Other Photographer, Tanya Harnett

Friday, March 9, 12:00pm


Out For Lunch Tour: Burtynsky Encounters

Thursday, March 15, 12:00pm


Writing Workshop: Fred Stenson

Saturday, March 24, 10:00am


Edward Burtynsky's Film: Manufactured Landscapes


Edward Burtynsky's Profile on TED.com


Globe & Mail  Special Report: Shifting Sands


Edward Burtynsky, Mines #13, Inco-Abandoned Mine Shaft, Crean Hill Mine, Sudbury, Ontario, 1984, Collection of Glenbow Museum
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