The beauty and the horror in Edward Burtynsky's photographs

CBC Radio - The Sunday Edition

Edward Burtynsky's art is awesome. In the old-fashioned sense of the word … to wit, capable of inspiring awe in its beholder.

His huge photos of dams, mines, quarries, oil refineries, shipbreaking, irrigation and oil sands operations capture landscapes altered on a mind-boggling scale … dwarfing the humans and machines that create them and work inside them.

Burtynsky, though, is not simply a photographer of scale. His lens is attuned to the compelling symmetries of massive industrial sites, the striking, unexpected slashes of colour in rivers of mining tailings and the precise patterns of new cars fanning across a sprawling parking lot.

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