photography by edward burtynsky

Edward Burtynsky's photographs addresses the problem of natural resource extraction for human use and consequently the negative impact it has on the

earth. This contemporary issue shadows his series “Tailings”, which captures Nickel mining tailings extruding rivers of metal across the landscape. 

photography by edward burtynsky

The Tailings are left over materials from the process of removing nickel and other metals from the ore. These rich and vibrant flows of red and orange are caused from the oxidation of the iron during this procedure.  The metal rivers stream across the natural landscape, cutting away and dissecting

the environment into new configurations of the land. The meandering streams movement is vast and dispersed, adding an unpredictable quality to the images. 

photography by edward burtynsky

Within these images the tailings are the main dictators of the space and depth. As the pulsating red pushes forward and the black proceeds back to create a mesmerizing contrast of depth. While the raised horizon line,

insinuates a vastness and opens up the picture plane to an appearance of infinity. It leaves this impression that there is no end to the tailings, that there is no end in sight to the destruction of earth.