A global health researcher, a Canadian union leader and a world-renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky (left) will be awarded honorary doctorates from Brock University during the upcoming Spring Convocation.
This year’s Spring Convocation will include nine ceremonies over five days from June 4 to 8 in the Ian D. Beddis Gymnasium at Brock University’s Walker Sports Complex. Ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day except for Friday, June 8, when only a morning ceremony is scheduled.
Receiving honorary degrees this year will be Dr. James Orbinski, former President of Doctors Without Borders and a respected global health researcher; Hassan Yussuff, the first-ever Human Rights Director of the Canadian Auto Workers union and now President of the Canadian Labour Congress; and Edward Burtynsky, a St. Catharines native whose industrial landscape photography has appeared in more than 60 museums around the world.
Convocation ceremonies are open to the public and tickets are not required. A reception for graduates, family and guests will follow each ceremony.
Friday, June 8, 10 a.m. — Edward Burtynsky, World-Renowned Photographer
His remarkable photographs of industrial landscapes have been included in the collections of more than 60 major museums around the world, but it was in his hometown of St. Catharines that Edward Burtynsky first learned his craft.
Known as one of Canada’s most respected photographers, Burtynsky was influenced early in his career by the images of Niagara’s General Motors plants. His images explore the collective impact we’re having on the planet, looking at the human systems we’ve imposed onto natural landscapes.
Burtynsky received his BAA in Photography/Media Studies from Ryerson University in 1982 and a few years later launched Toronto Image Works, a darkroom rental facility, custom photo lab, digital imaging and new media computer-training centre catering to all levels of Toronto’s art community.
While he is an active lecturer on photographic art across North America, his images have appeared in the biggest publications in the world such as National Geographic and the New York Times, and have been included in installations at the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid and many others.
Awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006, Burtynsky has also won the TED Prize, the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts, the Outreach award at the Rencontres d’Arles, the Roloff Beny Book award, and the Rogers Best Canadian Film award.
When he receives an honorary doctorate from Brock University on Friday, June 8, it will be Burtynsky’s ninth such degree.
Most recently, Burtynsky unveiled his first Augmented Reality installation at Photo London, where he was honoured as the 2018 Master of Photography. The installation allows viewers to explore the recycling of automotive machine parts from a scrap yard in Accra, Ghana in 3D.
“I like to think of photography 1.0 as the invention of photography and photography 2.0 as the evolution of photography to digital and the move from film and paper to everything on a chip,” Burtynsky said. “Now, for me, photography 3.0 is the use of the digital camera to capture an object in the third dimension.”
He said powerful imaging software and advancements in computing power has allowed him to create installations inviting viewers “directly into the photograph to scale with the objects, even allowing them to magnify and see the detailed minutia.”
Burtynsky’s work was recently featured in Lac/Athabasca written by Len Falkenstein and presented by the graduating Dramatic Arts students in April 2018.
Upcoming exhibitions include Anthropocene at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). A co-presentation with the Canadian Photography Institute (CPI) of the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) Anthropocene is a major new contemporary art exhibition that tells the story of human impact on the Earth through film, photography, and new experiential technologies. Co-produced with MAST Foundation, Bologna, Italy, the exhibition is a component of the multi-disciplinary Anthropocene Project from the collective of photographer Edward Burtynsky and filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier. Organized by the artists in partnership with the three organizations, Anthropocene will run at the AGO and NGC simultaneously from September 2018 through early 2019.