I’m always interested in how humans shape the landscape. All my work is really about the pristine landscape being pushed back as a result of the expanding human footprint. And I kept thinking of farming as one of the largest terraforming events that humans have exercised on the planet.
Edward Burtynsky’s latest series Dryland Farming depicts the agricultural region of Monegros, Spain; a semi-arid terrain, sparsely populated and prone to both droughts and high winds. These large photographic works feature an expanse of meandering and grid-like patterns made visible from Burtynsky’s 2,000 ft. vantage point; exposing the vivid palette found within the layers of the land.
Burtynsky was drawn to areas that reveal the effects of traditional farming methods practised over many generations. Capturing this vast topography with his renowned clarity and rendition of detail, these works convey the complexity of the land’s cultivation. The land mass is largely sedimentary rock, gypsum and clay-rich soil - these soft mineral compounds are extensively carved out by continuous agricultural expansion and eroded by the extreme climate. As befits Burtynsky’s fascination with the on-going examination of humanity’s ecological footprint, Dryland Farming exposes the extent of alteration to the area of Monegros, through the vast variety of interlocking segments and geometric divisions.
Dryland Farming is part of an extensive body of work entitled Water, to be completed in 2013.
Water, like many other resources is harvested, transported and used throughout all aspects of society. Unlike other resources, water is critical to the survival of all forms of life. The underlying question that sits at the core of my exploration is to what degree can we shape water before it begins to shape us.
Dryland Farming at Flowers coincides with a survey exhibition of Edward Burtynsky’s Oil at The Photographers’ Gallery, London. Oil reveals the rarely seen mechanics of the manufacture, distribution and use, of one of the world’s most highly contested resources, and explores its impact on our lives, culture and the environment. This exhibition will showcase over thirty large-scale works from this widely acclaimed series.
Oil is a touring exhibition which has previously shown at Corocan Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., Huis Marseille, Amsterdam, Fotografiska Museet, Stockholm, and the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. Edward Burtynsky features in over fifty international museum collections including: Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Tate, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; National Gallery Washington D.C; National Gallery of Canada, and the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid.
Edward Burtynsky has received many honours, including The Kraszna-Krausz Book Award, The MOCCA award, TED Prize, The Order of Canada, the Outreach Award at the Recontres d’Arles, The Flying Elephant Fellowship, Applied Arts Magazine book awards, and the Roloff Beny Book Award. Burtynsky holds Honorary Doctorates from Queen’s University, Ryerson University and Montserrat College of Art. Burtynsky is also the subject of the award-winning film Manufactured Landscapes (2006), directed by Jennifer Baichwal.
Both exhibitions will be accompanied by a series of talks and public events, please enquire for further details.
For further information and images please contact Ceri Stock on 020 7920 7777 or email firstname.lastname@example.org