Prof Richard Weston & Ed Burtynsky

Arguably, there could not be two artists whose work is further apart than Professor Richard Weston and Ed Burtynsky. Prize-winning architect and landscape designer, Richard Weston creates silk scarves and accessories inspired by blown-up images of crystals and minerals. Burtynsky is a renowned photographer who captures nature transformed by industry, from open marble quarries and mines, to tailings and oil spills. Yet his images are undeniably beautiful. When I look at both their works together, I see so much that's different and also so much that's the very same. And that intrigues me.


1a. Weston Agate printed silk scarf from Net-a-Porter
1b. Dryland Farming #9, Monegros County, Aragon, Spain, 2010 by Edward Burtynsky


2a. Weston Scarves Turquoise Agate Print Silk Scarf from Liberty of London
2b. Mines #17 - Lornex Open Pit Copper Mine. Highland Valley, British Columbia 1985 by Edward Burtynsky


3a. Weston Scarves Abalone Shell Print Silk Scarf from Liberty of London
3b. Oil Spill #4, Oil Skimming Boat, Near Ground Zero, Gulf of Mexico, June 24, 2010 by Edward Burtynsky


4a. Weston Scarves Orange Agate Silk Scarf from Liberty of London
4b. Nickel Tailings No. 30, Sudbury, Ontario 1996 by Edward Burtynsky


5a. Weston Printed silk scarf from Net-a-Porter
5b. Rock of Ages # 4, Abandoned Section, Adam-Pirie Quarry, Barre, Vermont, 1991 by Edward Burtynsky

14 comments:

  1. Jane, these comparisons are wonderfully intriguing. They’re not only visually stunning, but I think they point to the ways in which Burtynsky’s photographs are so devastatingly beautiful, which is part of what makes them so powerful and compelling. Having grown up in and witnessed firsthand the landscape in which Nickel Tailings No. 30 was taken, I can attest to how surreal and grotesque that landscape actually is, and yet somehow striking and seductive, even if uncomfortably so. Burtynsky effectively conveys how ambivalent, but also intricately bound, our relationship to modern industrial landscapes and ecological devastation really is. The difference in scale between their respective works—Weston’s images are blown-up, almost microscopic details; Burtynsky’s photos are notoriously large-scale and show entire landscapes—also seems to point to this uneasy relationship. Looking at your side-by-side comparisons, it is almost as if Weston’s silk scarves tease out or accentuate the details and textures of Burtynsky’s photographs… it’s brilliant! It is strange how much the Orange Agate scarf reminds me of “home” and the bizarre landscape of the tailings and surrounding areas with which I am so familiar....

    This is such a great post; sometimes I could swear you were trained in art history!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm glad this resonated with you.

      I have a masters in philosophy of art, which entailed a fair bit of art history research. But it's also always been a passion of mine since I was very young.

      Burtynsky's work is certainly something to behold in person - an experience that cannot be captured in these digital reproductions.

      Delete
    2. Oh, I didn't know that! Somehow, I always assumed that your degree(s) were in english literature or journalism (although one should never assume). Come to think of it, I think I recall reading something of the sort on your website when I first discovered Ill Seen, Ill Said, and that your graduate studies seemed to be what drew you to Canada in the first place. My apologies for not remembering, but it all makes sense to me now! It makes me very happy to know that you do have some art history in your academic background, because I catch glimpses of it here all the time. It is one of the subtle but smart things I love about your blog.

      I definitely agree about Burtynsky's work. There is something to be said about seeing his large-scale photographs and their clarity of detail and brilliant colours in person - they are incredibly stunning and powerful, making one feel remarkably small and insignificant. They always hit be somewhere deep in my chest and leave me speechless.

      Delete
    3. Ha thanks! I wouldn't expect you to know or remember... it's all a long, long time ago now!!

      I imagine that you are even more moved by Burtynsky being familiar with some of the geography he shoots. I would love to see some of those places in person too!

      Delete
  2. Jane! These are amazing! I thought that first image must be an aerial over a coral reef or something. Wow. I'm blown away!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amazing, what incredible and provocative eye candy! I would never have thought of pairing these two, but they are a sensational combination. Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love these pairings. I'd never seen Weston scarves before - very cool.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Naturally, I really want one of those scarves too - swoon!

      Delete
  5. Superb curating, thank you so much for sharing these two artists work.

    Sera

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is stunning Jane, and what an interesting comparison. I love it when supposedly oppositional things meet together like this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! Both so very beautiful. Also - of course - I'm dying for one of those scarves!

      Delete

Thank you for your comments!

Comments are moderated for spam, advertising, obscenity etc. Please note that your profile name links to your site/blog. Using the comment field to promote your site/blog is considered spamming.