City on a Hill, 2022

Artist Statement

For the past 15 years I’ve increasingly moved away from landscape work, to photographing cities, architecture and built environments along nature’s periphery. ‘City On a Hill’ is an evolution of that process.

After years of working with conventional perspective as a way to represent space, I was interested in an alternative method that was more sympathetic to the unexpected ways in which people adapted to and reconfigured these unique environments. Photographed in Italy and Morocco, they were captured with a medium format digital camera fitted with a super telephoto lens. The resultant image compresses the city’s depth into a two dimensional surface revealing the interconnectedness between its structures and the invisible actors that generated it.

There is evidence of humanity in some of the frames while others are empty – people, laundry and the occasional car hint at the internal logic of what appears to be random. However, what the participant misses when moving through these spaces, and what I sought to reveal in these images, is how the towns developed over time with purpose. Each developed organically, built up of cells over time into a larger more complex whole.

“The idea for the project came shortly after my first visit to Matera, in Southern Italy, in 2018. I had photographed the city on that first trip as a series of panoramas, taken from a series of high vantage points. They were pretty conventional – made with a standard lens which incorporated a foreground, background, and sky. In 2022 I returned to Matera with a Fuji GFX and its stellar 250mm and 1.4 Teleconvertor to play around with the compressed look of a long lens and experiment with something more ambiguous and abstract. I worked in many of the locations I had visited on the previous trip but with the tele lens and converter. The depth of field was an issue more often than not, so I took advantage of the GFX’s focus-stacking feature for those and combined 4-5 images later with Helicon Soft. To remove additional depth cues such as shadows I always worked at the beginning of tail end of the day to keep sun behind me, which had the added benefit of unifying the colour temperature of each image as I moved from location to location.

A handful of locations, such as Naples and Sicily, I had been to before while making other images. It was just a matter of going back to do some legwork for a few days, scoping out a suitable location. The remaining locations in Sicily and Morocco were researched prior to departure. I always start with Google Earth and simply wander about a potential location as if I were there in person. It’s an invaluable tool and I use it frequently but it can be deceiving, so I’ve learned to take what I see with a grain of salt and not discount a location based on what’s on the screen. Sometimes the street view images are old so the streetscapes are radically different in reality. It’s a common occurrence, so if something looks remotely good on the computer I’ll check it out in person and accept that I’ll be either disappointed with my findings or pleasantly surprised”.

Artist Biography

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 21 inches – $3,200

21 x 26 inches – $3,300

32 x 32 inches – $6,300

32 x 40 inches – $6,600

44 x 44 inches – $7,800

44 x 55 inches – $8,000

59 x 59 inches – Price Upon Request

59 x 73.5 inches – Price Upon Request