A day of photography, in three parts – Anthropocene

Posted: October 5, 2018 in galleries
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

an exhibit of photographs by Edward Burtynsky
highlighting the mark that man is leaving on the environment.

below:  Lithium Mine #1, Salt Flats, Atacama Desert, Chile, 2017 .  The Salar de Atacama is the largest salt flat in Chille, located in the driest non-polar desert in the world.  This is also the world’s greatest source of lithium.  The shades of yellow, green, and blue represent the different stages of lithium evaporation.

coloured ponds in a lithium mine in Chile, shades of yellows, greens and blues

below: A plastics recycling plant, Dandora landfill in Nairobi, Kenya, 2016

in an art gallery, a large photo of people and a dog among a large garbage dump

people viewing art exhibit at AGO, photos by Edward Burtynsky

below: Uralkali Potash Mine #4, Berezniki Russia, 2017.  This Russian mine includes about 3000 km of underground tunnels created by machines called combines used in the potash extraction process.   These spaces are dark.   The spiral patterns are left by the combines.

photo by Edward Burtynsky of the interior of an underground tunnel in a potash mine in Russia.

below: Morenci Mine #2, Clifton Arizona USA, 2012.  Part of this photo shows the liquid reserves of waste left over from the copper extraction process.  The marble like colours are the result of leached heavy metals.   Copper smelting requires between 1500 and 3000 litres of water for every to of processed ore.

large copper mine photograph

people viewing large coloured photos by Edward Burtynsky at the Art Gallery of Ontario


  1. Margie from Toronto says:

    I thought the images themselves were spectacular – and often quite appalling once you realized what they were depicting. However, I felt this exhibit could have been so much more. There was no context to it and I didn’t know what to make of it. Some images had no title or explanation – others had a small blurb on the floor where it was difficult to read and there were glitches with the app so incorrect videos were coming up.
    I would also have liked some perspective from those living and working in here places – it’s all right for us to condemn but what about the people of Lago and other places in the world where these industries mean that they can feed now their families?

  2. Joanne Sisco says:

    As horrifying as these practices are on the environment, they’ve created some amazing subjects for his photography. I’m most intrigued by the spiral designs created by the combines.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s