By Rail and By Sea is an immersive photographic statement portraying the vast grandeur of North America. Conarroe's works began as separate studies of the railways and coastlines of Canada and the United States. Over time, these hulking giants came to represent the westernmost front of Western civilization, a bloc of British Empire and Cold War superpower. Each photograph reveals idealistic beauty blocked by portions of post- industrial malaise.
Responding to the "cinematography" and peculiar ennui of the 1970s New American Color artists like Stephen Shore and Joel Sternfeld, and to Ed Burtynsky's more recent depictions of expansive geo-cultural systems Conarroe's work is brought to the forefront with this publication. Featuring texts by the best-selling author Simon Winchester, and the writer, artist and curator Robert Bean, By Rail and By Sea is a major photographic statement possessing a deadpan beauty that plays on themes of isolation, transience and the infinite.
Scott Conarroe has been awarded grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the 2011 Duke and Duchess of York Prize for Photography and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. His work has recently exhibited at Pearson International Airport (Toronto), Spain's inaugural Reflexiva Muestra Internacional de Fotográfica, and included in Landmark: The Fields of Photography at Somerset House (London).