We’re really pleased to introduce you to Tyler Burke, recipient of the Shutter Hub Emerging Photographer Award at Exposure Photography Festival 2022.
Each year the Exposure Photography Festival presents the Emerging Photographers Showcase. The exhibition celebrates the rich talent of early-career practitioners who are based in the province. The exhibition offers an important professional development opportunity for Alberta-based photographers whilst providing them a gateway into the industry. The exhibition presents a broad range of works, including photojournalism and photocollage, abstract and politically engaged photography, and works that embrace social and individual experience, as well as visual explorations of identity and personal narratives.
Tyler Burke is a photographer and filmmaker working in and around Calgary, Canada. He launched his commercial photo/video practice three years ago, after deviating from an academic path that was leading him to law school and then to grad school to study philosophy. Still early on in his career, Tyler has been working on balancing the development of his fine-art work with the demands of commercial practice.
In 2019, Tyler began a daily photographic practice that he has maintained until the present day: in addition to work for clients, he takes at least one photograph for himself every day. Part self-therapy, part continual artistic exploration, this daily practice quickly evolved into a fixation on street photography; he has been working on his contribution to this genre since spring 2020.
‘I love these images – really clean, strong and beautifully finished. I was drawn to the people, framed in spaces, where the light cuts through the dark and highlights the every-day in gentle solitude and beautiful velvety tones.’ – Karen Harvey, Creative Director, Shutter Hub
The images shown here were featured in Exposure Festival’s Emerging Photographer Showcase. Drawing inspiration from the works of classic photographers like Fred Herzog, Saul Leiter, and more recent practitioners like Tom Baumgaertel, Tyler felt a compulsion to investigate the alienation that was omnipresent in the city during the early months of the pandemic. He still sees this alienation as a type of relationship persisting between the individual and their urban context everywhere he goes; capturing instantiations of this relationship has become the telos of his current work.
Tyler has been drawn to the most basic form of this alienated individual-context relationship: the candid individual moving through their life as it unfolds in the city, lit by harsh breaks of light and edged-in by the shadows of urban infrastructure. The urban context is staunchly artificial and he strives to frame it with clean architectural lines. The individual subject stands in for the increasingly narrow and abstract version of selfhood we have come to rely on in our western civilisation – to the fault of losing touch with nearly all modes of life other than that built on the rational, yet arbitrary, division of self vs. world. Rather than merely dwelling on this state of affairs, Tyler tries to find interesting light leaks, reflections, and compositions that, despite the subject’s isolation, tie them into a greater natural context – that of life and cosmos writ-large.
The Exposure Festival 2022 Emerging Photographer Showcase marks his first ever public exhibition of this work. He plans to develop a series of prints and to eventually publish a photobook that further explores these ideas and concepts.
‘I am deeply honoured to be the 2022 recipient of the Shutter Hub Emerging Photographer Award. As a photographer who is just taking the first steps of their fine-art career, the recognition, support, and community that comes with this award is invaluable; I am looking forward to all that my Shutter Hub membership entails!
Thank you to Beth Kane, Dona Schwartz, and the entire Exposure Photography Festival team for making my first exhibition an amazing milestone, and to the Creative Director of Shutter Hub Karen Harvey for selecting my work for this award. I feel very privileged to be a member of this dedicated and inspiring community.’ – Tyler Burke
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