Patty Wellborn

Email: patty-wellborn@news.ok.ubc.ca


 

Award-winning photographer Edward Burtynsky collects images from an oilfield. His October 22 presentation, Landscape of Human Systems, is part of UBC Okanagan’s Distinguished Speaker Series.
(Photo credit: Noah Weinzweig)

Award-winning artist is UBC Okanagan’s next distinguished speaker

World-renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky is returning to UBC Okanagan.

Burtynsky, who was presented with an honorary doctoral degree from UBC Okanagan in June 2013, is the first guest of this year’s Distinguished Speaker Series. In his Landscape of Human Systems presentation, Burtynsky presents a collection of his work, including large-scale colour photographs and recent film footage. While his large photographs will be displayed behind him, he will discuss the technique behind his image-making as he explores society’s troubling relationship with nature.

Born in St. Catharine’s, Ontario, a town dependent on auto assembly plants, he grew up in a heavily industrial yet picturesque part of the country. He started taking pictures at age 11, shortly after his father purchased a used camera and some darkroom equipment. He earned his degree in photography from Ryerson University, and studied graphic art at Niagara College.

Burtynsky’s imagery explores the link between industry and nature, and the damage society has done to the planet through mining, quarrying, manufacturing, shipping, and oil production. His remarkable large-format photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes are included in the collections of more than 50 major museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

In 2006, Burtynsky became an Officer of the Order of Canada. His other distinctions include the TED Prize, the Outreach award at the Rencontres d’Arles, the Roloff Beny Book award, the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award, and the Award in Contemporary Art from Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.

Burtynsky’s The Landscape of Human Systems takes place at the Kelowna Community Theatre, 1375 Water St, on Wednesday, October 22, at 7 p.m. His visit is presented by the Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, as part of UBC's Distinguished Speaker Series.

This event is free and open to the public, but pre-registration is required. To register, visit: speakers.ok.ubc.ca/2014/burtynsky

Edward Burtynsky has spent decades photographing modern society's troubling relationship with nature. His Landscape of Human Systems presentation on October 22 is a combination of new photographs and film production that document his findings.

Edward Burtynsky has spent decades photographing modern society's troubling relationship with nature. His Landscape of Human Systems presentation on October 22 is a combination of new photographs and film production that document his findings.

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Col. Chris Hadfield plays the song, Is Somebody Singing, with students at École KLO Middle School.

Canada’s most famous astronaut recounts times in space and on earth

How do you tune your guitar in space? Or sleep? Even breathe?

Col. Chris Hadfield makes a point during his talk to students at École KLO Middle School.

Col. Chris Hadfield makes a point during his talk to students at École KLO Middle School.

The questions came fast and furious for Chris Hadfield, “Canada’s spaceman,” during two appearances in the Okanagan Monday as part of UBC’s Distinguished Speaker Series. He was greeted like a rock star, first at École KLO Middle School, where more than 600 students thundered their approval. The adulation continued again later, when Hadfield delivered his story of life in space, electrifying 800 people packed into the Kelowna Community Theatre and sparking a standing ovation.

Hadfield, who commanded the International Space Station (ISS) for five months earlier this year, became a global sensation for his videos, tweets and music from space. Audiences estimated in the millions worldwide followed Hadfield’s exploits as he displayed breathtaking photos of Earth and demonstrated vignettes of life in space, such as what happens when you wring out a washcloth in a weightless environment.

Hadfield is a master story teller. From describing some of the 200-plus experiments performed aboard the ISS during his command, to tales about his personal life – ambitions to be an astronaut from age nine – Hadfield engaged his audience with a spell-binding narrative and video presentation.

Asked about his music from space, where Hadfield co-wrote and recorded the song Is Somebody Singing with Ed Robertson of the Bare Naked Ladies, the retired astronaut said he found music relaxing and therapeutic. It also added a dimension to space exploration that Hadfield treasured.

“To bring the arts into space was really something special,” Hadfield said. “We need to remind ourselves of our own humanity, whether it’s on earth or in space.”

His most fascinating time in space? Going on spacewalks Hadfield said, is an incomparable experience.

The astronaut told a heart-felt story about his wife Helene and three children and the struggle to make ends meet early in his space career, starting in the 1980s when he joined the Canadian space program. Hadfield, an engineer and accomplished test pilot, decided he would abandon his pursuit of space for the relative comfort and lucrative pay as a commercial airline pilot.

Helene told him to forgo any such notion. Not pursuing his lifelong dream, the regrets would make him miserable – and in turn make his family miserable, the astronaut’s wife said. So pursue the dream and we will find a way to get by, she advised him. Without his family’s support, Hadfield said he would never have accomplished everything he did.

Hadfield’s appearance in the Okanagan in the Distinguished Speaker Series was sponsored by an endowment from the late Irving K. Barber, after whom UBC’s Okanagan campus School of Arts and Sciences is named.

Col. Chris Hadfield describes the Australian outback as seen from outer space.

Col. Chris Hadfield describes the Australian outback as seen from outer space – and captured in his photo from the International Space Station, during his Distinguished Speaker Series talk.

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In response to overwhelming demand for the UBC Distinguished Speaker Series talk with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield this Monday, the university has opened a lecture theatre to simulcast the live event.

Approximately 150 seats remain open for the simulcast event. Ticket registration is free online at: http://dss-hadfieldsimulcast.eventbrite.ca

The simulcast takes place at 7 p.m. Monday October 7 in the Charles E. Fipke Centre for Innovative Research, 3247 University Way, UBC’s Okanagan campus, Kelowna. Check-in for the event starts at 6 p.m.

Paid parking is available for $3 in campus parking lots E, F and G. Ticket dispensers accept coins, Visa and MasterCard.

A campus map can be viewed at: http://universityrelations.ok.ubc.ca/hadfieldparking.pdf

 

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