© Edward Burtynsky (Nickel Tailings)
Manufactured landscapes, the impressive work of Edward Burtynsky. A recent winner of the TED award (see his talk at the link), Ed made a wish. That wish was to encourage a worldwide conversation about the planet, its problems and their possible solutions. Ed chose Worldchanging.com as the way to kick-start that conversation. You can see a introduction here.
Last year something unexpected happened. I won something called “The TED Prize” in which I was granted a wish to change the world. It was ironic, because for 25 years I have been taking landscape photographs that depict the way humankind already has been changing the world. There’s a huge gap here, between the reality on the ground and the possibilities of the future, between bad news and good ideas. Closing that gap now seems to me the most important work there is, and no one is doing it better than Worldchanging.com.
Here’s my wish. I want my photographs to be used to help inspire people to work toward, as Worldchanging coins it, “a bright green future.” I hope my work will help show why Worldchanging’s work is so important. So I’m asking you to join me in helping make that work possible. Tell your friends about this site. Share the stories you find here with others and your own expertise and enthusiasm with the Worldchanging team.- Edward Burtynsky
Inspired by nature is the theme here. Quite frankly, that’s were I started. I became very interested in the landscape, my father was an avid outdoors man so I really had a chance to experience the beautiful coastline in Canada. But I could never really understand what it was or what was informing me about but what I think what it was telling me is that we are this transient thing that’s happening and the nature you see out there, the untouched shorelines, the untouched forest, really brings a sense of geological time, that is happening for a long time and we are experiencing it in a different way. That to me was a reference point that I needed to have to be able to make the work that I did. For years I went to try to photograph the pristine landscape, but as a fine art photographer I felt that it would not catch on out there to make a career. Then I started to think, how can I rethink the landscape, and so I decided to think about the landscape that we have transformed. This became the theme that I felt that I could hold on and not have to reinvent myself, that this theme was large enough to become a life’s work. – Edward Burtynsky