Larry Towell’s business card reads ‘Human Being’. Experience as a poet and a folk musician has done much to shape his personal style. The son of a car repairman, Towell grew up in a large family in rural Ontario. During studies in visual arts at Toronto’s York University, he was given a camera and taught how to process black and white film.
A stint of volunteer work in Calcutta in 1976 provoked Towell to photograph and write. Back in Canada, he taught folk music to support himself and his family. In 1984 he became a freelance photographer and writer focusing on the dispossessed, exile and peasant rebellion. He completed projects on the Nicaraguan Contra war, on the relatives of the disappeared in Guatemala, and on American Vietnam War veterans who had returned to Vietnam to rebuild the country. His first published magazine essay, ‘Paradise Lost’, exposed the ecological consequences of the catastrophic Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. He became a Magnum nominee in 1988, and a full member in 1993.
In 1996 Towell completed a project based on ten years of reportage in El Salvador, followed the next year by a major book on the Palestinians. His fascination with landlessness also led him to the Mennonite migrant workers of Mexico, an eleven-year project completed in 2000. With the help of the inaugural Henri Cartier-Bresson Award, he finished a second highly acclaimed book on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in 2005, and in 2008 released the award-winning The World From My Front Porch, a project on his own family in rural Ontario where he sharecrops a 75 acre farm.
The notion that photography captures a single, specific moment in time – no matter how fleeting – has always held great appeal for me. The endeavour requires observing my surroundings, wherever I may be, while ‘chasing the light fantastic’. That endeavour, for me, is an intuitive one: from the gut, as it were… Never knowing what I will find, I let the scenes reveal themselves one at a time, as photographic opportunities so often do… I travel to photograph! Discovering new places and surroundings add fuel to a burning passion for photographing the world around me. In the end, my photography strives to be art – always attempting to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary! It won’t usually be mistaken for documentary, commercial or other types of photography – it aims to be an artistic glimpse at the world through my lens.
Aislinn Leggett was born in Namur, QC in 1981 and currently lives and works in Montreal, Canada. She was a grant recipient from Conseils des arts et lettres du Quebec in 2008 for her project Lost Faces. That same year, she was featured in Applied Arts Magazine’s emerging artist Young Blood showcase. Her first solo show, Eight Seconds, The Quebec Rodeos was exhibited at various galleries throughout Quebec in 2008 and her work has been published in The Morning News, Burn Magazine, Urbania, among others. Recently, her work was nominated in the fine art category at the New York Photo Festival 2009, she participated in the group exhibit Likeness for the Ottawa Karsh Festival 2009 and in the Daniel Cooney Fine Art Emerging Artist auction in New York. In 2010, she will be showing in a group exhibition at Gallery 44 Center for Contemporary Photography in Toronto.
She is also the editor and curator of Slightly Lucid, a contemporary photography blog that showcases the works of emerging and established artists.
Edward Burtynsky is a Canadian photographer known internationally for his images on the shaping of landscape by industry. His photographs explore links between nature and industrial processes of mining, quarrying, manufacturing, shipping, oil production, recycling and water management. A graduate of Ryerson University, Burtynsky is also the founder of Toronto Image Works, the custom photo and digital imaging centre that has served Toronto’s photography community since the 1980s. His exhibition “Manufactured Landscapes,” organized by the National Gallery of Canada, toured from 2003 to 2005. A succeeding exhibition, “China,” toured from 2005 to 2008, while his “Oil” survey, still in circulation, began touring in 2009. In 2014 he mounted an exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery of works created from 1983 and 2013, representing work from all of his key bodies of work. Represented in the collections of more than 50 major museums—the Bibliothèque Nationale, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Reina Sofia, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art among them—Burtynsky is also the subject of the award-winning Jennifer Baichwal film Manufactured Landscapes (2006). His professional distinctions include a TED Prize, the Rencontres d’Arles Outreach Award and the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award. In 2006, he was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Canada.
As a young boy, Paul, a Canadian-born Arctic ecosystem specialist and marine biologist, moved to Baffin Island and spent his childhood among the Inuit people. From them he learned the love of nature, the understanding of icy ecosystems, and the survival skills that have turned him into one of the most successful wildlife and nature photographers of our generation.
As an assignment photographer for National Geographic magazine, Nicklen has produced 20 stories covering a variety of issues related to conservation and natural history—from the slaughter of narwhals to salmon farming to the importance of sea ice and polar ecosystems in this new climate era. Despite the personal peril he often faces while working in some of the planet’s most remote and harsh environments, Nicklen travels constantly in search of meaningful stories that can help touch people’s emotions and help the public at large connect with Earth’s marine and polar realms.
Elizabeth Gadd, a 22 year old photographer with a calm demeanour, is based just outside of Vancouver, Canada. Having grown up in this beautiful area, she fell easily in love with the surrounding forests, hills, mountains and ocean – All of which are heavily incorporated in her photography.
Lizzy started her venture into photography in 2007 when she became intrigued by taking photos of nature and animals (still a big part of her life). She grew more passionate about photography in 2010 when she decided to step out of her comfort zone and take a self-portrait everyday for a year. Upon completing this 365 project, she discovered her niche, which is as she once best described it: “I, uh… shoot landscapey stuff… with people in them.” So there you have it! She works to display human interaction with nature in a positive and peaceful way, and hopes that it will leave her viewers feeling refreshed and inspired.
Lizzy enjoys spending her time hiking with her two dogs and her camera, as well as travelling, writing, painting, and attempting to make it in this world as an artist. If she’s not doing any of the aforementioned, you can usually find her on a couch somewhere eating lots of chocolate.