In spring 2020 Edward Burtynsky found himself, like most of us, in lockdown due to the corona pandemic. At the time Burtynsky was in his beloved Grey County, Ontario—an area of wild beauty where he made his earliest photos—and he used his isolation there to reflect and create: with a new camera in hand he began recording nature in images which, in his words, are an “affirmation of the complexity, wonder and resilience of the natural order in all things.”
Over the past 40 years Burtynsky has compellingly explored the shocking variety and scale of industrialized landscapes, from oil refineries to quarries, from aquaculture to salt extraction. Yet in Natural Order he captures a moment when mankind has been temporarily stopped in its tracks, businesses suspended and economies disrupted—a moment for nature to breathe. These photos of trees and other flora show nature on the dynamic cusp between winter and spring, a time of melting snow, sprouting shoots and the promise of bounty: for Burtynsky, “an enduring order that remains intact regardless of our own human fate.”
The book is a key feature of the portfolio that was part of the Natural Order series release. Burtynsky, together with Nicholas Metivier Gallery in Toronto, are donating $200,000 CAD from the proceeds of the sale of the Natural Order portfolio to the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) and the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) for the establishment of new acquisition funds dedicated to acquiring the works by emerging to mid-career Canada photographic artists.
Further details regarding this important initiative to support the Canadian photography community during the COVID-19 crisis will be made available in late 2020.