I was really happy to see Paul Sisson with some prints of his work at last month’s SPE conference portfolio walkthrough. Paul and I went to UCD together, but I didn’t get to know him very well while I was there. Since I graduated, I’ve heard about what he’s been up to here and there, for example, numerous exhibitions of his work Not So Far From Here. The project explores “the Western American landscape and the wonders and curiosities that lay beyond the focused eyes of this twenty-first century society.” The ongoing endeavor is currently about a hundred images strong and includes pictures made in a dozen or so “mountain west” states. Having grown up in Colorado and having been driving from eastern Kansas to Denver-area every few months the past three years, it’s fun to pick out the scenes I know, and at times poignantly nostalgic.

The photographs in the series highlight the way nature and wide open land are seen in the glorious west, as well as call attention to the curious and mysterious meaning of the West’s past. There are some pretty bizarre sights to be found in the middle of nowhere, and Paul has a good collection going. I also love his project, Not So Far From God, a parallel offshoot of Not So Far From Here that focuses on the peculiarities and fervor of religion in America. Because that Kansas to Colorado drive I mentioned… I can absolutely see how this series branched off from the original aim.

Visit artist's site: paulsissonphoto.com