Edward Burtynsky

Rock of Ages #38, Abandoned Section, Rock of Ages Quarry, Barre, Vermont, 1991
39″ x 49″
Chromogenic print

Edward Burtynsky was born in St. Catharines and is based in Toronto. Today, he is regarded as one of the world’s most accomplished contemporary photographers. His photographs are included in the collections of over sixty major museums around the world. The most notable theme in his works is an exploration of the impact of human industry on the natural landscape, which he showcases with an aerial viewpoint.

This work is from one of the artist’s major projects, Quarries. Vermont quarries are thought to be the deepest in the world. In this image, Burtynsky’s aerial perspective results in a composition that has an ambiguity of scale. We don’t have a sense of how deep this quarry is, or how large the cuts made by industrial tools are. We also see that nature has begun to reclaim the space.