Earth Works, N44.59 x W74.57.23  Santa Cruz, Ontario  (from the Sunken Villages series)


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Louis Helbig brings an eclectic background to his work. He competed internationally on Canada’s national cross country ski team, flew bush planes in rural British Columbia, holds an MSc from the London School of Economics and has worked as a cabinet minister’s advisor, an economist and a university lecturer.

He left Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs in 2006 to become a full-time artist and has since gained international recognition for his aerial photography series including Sunken Villages (St. Lawrence Seaway) and Beautiful Destruction (Alberta Oil/Tar Sands).

Helbig’s work is published in periodicals around the world. His art work is held in collections in Europe, North America and Asia.

He lives with his family in Ottawa, Ontario.


Beautiful Destruction is published by Rocky Mountain Books. This 12 x 14” hardcover book, with its stunning imagery of industrial development in the forests of Northern Alberta and its unprecedented inclusion of 16 essays by prominent individuals with very different ideas, is helping to change how Canadians and the world view, understand and discuss the oil/tar sands.

In Canada it is helping to defuse a highly polarized, divisive issue and create space for substantive, meaningful discussion of the oil/tar sands. Internationally, it is raising awareness of a massive, largely unknown industrial project in the Canadian wilderness at the centre of one of the dilemmas of our time: grappling with the realities and contradictions of climate change versus a petroleum driven global economy.


General Fine Craft is pleased to be distributor for the book BEAUTIFUL DESTRUCTION.

Editions are available for $75 + gst and shipping.

To purchase, come into the gallery or order on line:  Louis@helbig.ca


sm.Louis_Helbig_flying_over_Alberta Louis flying his bush plane