Pamila Matharu wins the 2020 Burtynsky Grant

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Pamila Matharu, adjacencies, 2020. mixed media, installation view, photo credit: Durham Art Gallery variable dimensions.

CONTACT is pleased to announce Toronto-based artist Pamila Matharu as the 2020 Burtynsky Grant winner for their book project “Index: Some of All Parts.”

In 2016, photographer Edward Burtynsky and CONTACT established the Burtynsky Grant to foster the creation of photobooks by Canadians. The $5,000 annual grant supports artists and photographers who are at the advanced stages of developing a cohesive, rigorous body of work for publication.

The jury (Edward Burtynsky, Kotama Bouabane, Letticia Cosbert Miller, Cat Lachowskyj, Brian Paul Lamotte, and Marcus Schubert) had the pleasure of reviewing a wide range of compelling photobook proposals from across Canada.

“Through a combination of photography, collage, and archival material, Index: Some of All Parts by Pamila Matharu responds to the questions of what voices survive in the narrative of Canadian art history, and what voices are erased. Exploding with ideas and presented with little compromise between concept and images, Matharu’s striking photobook addresses crucial gaps in representation during this time of ongoing reckoning with the photographic canon.”

The jury would like to acknowledge the following Honourable Mentions:

Leyla Godfrey, Four Walls With No Entrance
Esmond Lee, Below the City
Laurence Philomene, Puberty

Since its inception, The Burtynsky Grant has supported a range of exceptional photobooks by Canadian and international independent publishers.

2019 – Teresa Eng, China Dream. Published 2019 by Skinnerboox.

2018 – Birthe Piontek, Abendlied. Published 2019 by Gnomic Book.

2017 – The Broadbent Sisters, A Telepathic Book. Self-published in 2018.

2016 – Aaron Friend Lettner, Doorways. Published 2017 by Anchorless Press.

Burtynsky Grant-winning photobooks are available for purchase through the CONTACT shop.


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Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
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CONTACT is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to celebrating and fostering the art and profession of photography with an annual Festival in May and year-round programming in the CONTACT Gallery. CONTACT embraces an inclusive and accessible approach to the medium, and cultivates collaborations with and among artists, curators, institutions, and organizations.

CONTACT is generously supported by Scotia Wealth Management, Nikon Canada, Pattison Outdoor Advertising, La Fondation Emmanuelle Gattuso, Toronto Image Works, The Gilder, Transcontinental PLM, 3M Canada, Waddington’s Auctioneers and Appraisers, Four By Eight Signs, Beyond Digital Imaging, Steam Whistle Brewing, Art Toronto, BIG Digital, The Globe and Mail, NOW Magazine, CBC Toronto, and Canadian Art, and the Metropolitan.

CONTACT gratefully acknowledges the support of Celebrate Ontario, Ontario Arts Council, The Government of Ontario, Partners in Art, Canada Council for the Arts, the Howard Webster Foundation, Mondriaan Foundation, Pro Helvetia, Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Toronto Arts Council, and all of our funders, donors, and programming partners.