A Prairie Town, 2021
The Canadian prairies have an architectural tradition of impermanence, committed pragmatism and humble resolve. These early settlements and buildings had a tenuous link to the earth, their very existence a flaunting of the distances and the endless plains. Infused with old country visions only partially resolved, our first builders grasped the most basic of spatial and architectural means-the survey grid, the windbreak, the exaggerated facade – to tame an immense plain.
Motivated by a sense of nostalgia, I traveled the lesser roads of the Canadian plains in search of the same scenes I once photographed as a child. I was seeking remnants of the past and present them here as a catalogue of artifacts, revealing an identity shaped by a connection to the soil, ethnicity and community.
The narrative was influenced by sections of Robert Kroetsch’s long poem “Seed Catalogue” (1977). The photographs explore, as Kroetsch’s Seed Catalogue does, the construction of place and the prairie town as a new world garden where the fundamental question is: “how do you grow…” a town on the prairie landscape.
“I did this work at the height of the pandemic, at a time when the world was still struggling with the fears and anxieties posed by the sudden rupture of everyday life. All the normative practices which strung one day to the next were now subject to scrutiny. We were forced/told to stay put and fear those we didn’t live with. It was a terrible time really and I managed with most of it, but I struggled greatly with the sudden lack of mobility. Until this point I had always been able to drop what I was doing and spend a few weeks making new work when the inspiration arose. Suddenly I was unable to do so. It was very frustrating. I hadn’t taken any photographs for a year by this point and in an effort to regain some sense of normalcy I made a personal commitment to doing something closer to home. I conceived the project as part personal retreat – a quiet time to reflect on the past year and create something that would capture the spirit of this particular time in history. I was interested in exploring themes related to home, family and isolation – issues that were front and center for many others and me at that time. My point of departure was the ubiquitous lone prairie structure, floating in a sea of winter white or strung along an attenuated horizon – a typology deeply embedded in the Canadian psyche and reminiscent of the first images I made as a child outside Winnipeg”.
Vancouver, Canada, based David Burdeny has exhibited with the Jennifer Kostuik Gallery since 2001, showcasing his images from the world over, including Antarctica, Iceland, Brazil, China, Burma, Cambodia, France, Italy, Canada and the USA. Known for his finely composed photographs, David Burdeny has spent the past 20 years exploring a variegated photographic Landscape ranging from minimal seascapes, ornate European interiors to abstract aerial images. Widely collected in Canada, the USA, Asia and Europe, the sheer beauty of David’s images has firmly placed him within the realm of Canada’s most sought after photo-based artists. David’s willingness to take risks, eschew dogma and continuously pursue his innate curiosity for new subjects and themes has become a signature element in his work. Be it mounting a camera beneath a self -built drone, shooting from the deck of an Antarctic bound icebreaker or waiting for an ocean tide to advance, David faithfully imbeds his own formal signature into each and every image further expressing a lifelong passion for the built environment and the camera’s interpretation of it. Distinctly David Burdeny, the photographs are rigorous yet graceful, inviting the viewer to form their own narrative as if they too were passing through space or gazing into the horizon for the very first time.
David Burdeny’s Masters in Architecture and Interior Design background combined with his upbringing in the vast Canadian prairies provides the template for his keen technical ability, enduring patience and minimalist aesthetic. Recently moving from using large format film to now the finest available digital cameras and precision optics, his images are rendered large and detailed. A Bright Future- Photographs of Russian Subways, Theaters and Palaces 2015 received an explosion of media interest, especially in the UK and Russia. Burdeny was in New York City to receive his First Place Award from IPA for Avata Metro Station, St. Petersburg, Russia in the Category of Historic Architecture, and was interviewed for the most recent articles for The Guardian UK and Wired publications amongst several others. In 2012, the Ancora Series of 2010 was exhibited at the Centre for Photographic Art, Carmel CA, Curated by Richard Gadd. Burdeny has won several gold awards in international art photography competitions, most significantly receiving International Photographer of the Year in the Nature category for Canada, revealed at the Lucie Awards Ceremony in New York City, October 2008. His first book Shorelines sold out in both the limited collector edition and trade publication. He has 10 Limited Edition Photographic Series currently offered and is represented by other art dealers in Canada, the USA and Europe. His second hard cover book is A Bright Future, 2015 with text by esteemed writer and translator, Rosamund Bartlett.
Loose Print Pricing
21 x 26 inches – $3,300
32 x 40 inches – $6,600
44 x 55 inches – $8,000
59 x 73.5 inches – Price Upon Request