edward burtynsky water photography edward burtynsky water photography
aug 15, 2013

edward burtynsky water photography

xiaolangdi dam #1, 2011
yellow river, henan province, china
chromogenic print
image courtesy of edward burtynsky/nicholas metivier gallery



edward burtynsky: water
nicholas metivier gallery, toronto
september 5 – october 12, 2013 



beginning september 5th, 2013, canadian photographer edward burtynsky will be presenting a series of images titled ‘water’ at nicholas metivier gallery in toronto. throughout the body of work, burtynsky personifies water, exposing its vulnerability, capability, and power. juxtaposing these visuals, in other images from the set, is the complete absence of water, focusing instead on the consequence of its deficiency. each shot carries the viewer through a complex sojourn — encompassed in rugged landscapes, complex patterns formed by icy rivers, and thick swarms of bathers flocking to the sea. the project documents the world’s water supplies, spotlighting the burden that manufacturing and consumption bear on earth’s natural resources.



‘water’ will include large-format photographs and moving film, and will be accompanied by burtynsky’s fifth book, ‘burtynsky – water’. below is the trailer for ‘watermark’, what will be a feature-length documentary, co-directed by jennifer baichwal and edward burtynsky, that will be released by mongrel media in canada in fall of 2013:



watermark trailer (HD): mongrel media
video courtesy of mongreltrailers



the series is factioned into groups, articulating water’s role in each image. burtynsky spotlights agriculture, as one category, which represents the largest human activity upon the planet — approximately seventy percent of all fresh water under our control is dedicated to agricultural activity. the images presented of dryland farming in rural spain and pivot irrigation in the suburbs of arizona, chronicle the fascinating effects of human interaction with nature. the photos that make up ‘water’ were shot in ten different countries. burtynsky approached each landscape from a unique perspective. for his captures, he used helicopters, both actual and remote controlled, and small aircrafts, ascending into the air to achieve a powerful sense of scale and space.



marine aquaculture #1, 2012
luoyuan bay, fujian province, china
image courtesy of edward burtynsky



veronawalk, 2012
naples, florida, USA
image courtesy of edward burtynsky



greenhouses, 2010
almira peninsula, spain
chromogenic print
image courtesy of edward burtynsky/nicholas metivier gallery



dryland farming #2, 2010
monegros county, aragon, spain
chromogenic print
image courtesy of edward burtynsky/nicholas metivier gallery



thjorsa river #1, 2012
chromogenic print
image courtesy of edward burtynsky/nicholas metivier gallery



navajo reservation / suburb, 2011
phoenix, arizona, USA
chromogenic print
image courtesy of edward burtynsky/nicholas metivier gallery



pivot irrigation, 2011
suburb, south of yuma, arizona, USA
image courtesy of edward burtynsky


  • Beautifullllllll

    manoj says:
  • I am not easily stopped or impressed these days
    perhaps this Vermont mind in her 7th decade has become a bit jaded :)))))
    that said
    this work stopped me and made me say WOW
    thank you for this post and your acute eyes

    Paedra says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

art news