Not So Far From Here is an ongoing body of work that explores the Western American Landscape and the wonders and curiosities that lay beyond the focused eyes of this 21st century society. We place so much emphasis on our destination, and everybody, myself included, is seemingly always on such a tight schedule that enjoying the proverbial journey has become a thing of the past. With this project I have set out to embrace that journey, destination be damned.
In a world plagued by overpopulation it’s still possible to find vast open spaces, untouched landscapes, and towns so small they don’t even have a Starbucks. Old gas stations and broken down cars stand like Roman ruins scattered across the land; completely useless and forgotten, these treasures are waiting to be found all at the same time. Religious promotions and political endorsements stand as a cultural statement unto themselves, unwavering and preaching to the choir. Empty buildings and rotting signs linger as reminders of more active economic times. Small businesses cater to niche communities hoping to avoid that same fate.
This project has been fueled by my desire to find things that I’ve never seen before –things that make me think about generations past, things that would be missed by flying by a little town on the highway, or things that simply make me laugh. Any given journey starts simply by getting in the car, pulling out of the driveway and pointing it in one direction or another with no preconceived notions on where I might end up, where I’ll stay when I get there, or how long I’ll be gone. It’s a freeing and cathartic experience that reveals itself in the photographs I capture. The process and the photographs offer a quiet simplicity – whether it be ironic, sad, beautiful, or just plain odd – that allows for an escape within the moment and the image.
Paul Sisson is an emerging photographer in Denver, CO. He is a recent graduate of the University of Colorado Denver’s BFA Photography program and currently resides in Arvada with his wife, Karen. Originally from Minneapolis, MN, Paul has lived in Colorado since 1998 and serves as Installation and Exhibitions Manager at Colorado Photographic Arts Center in Denver. His work has been exhibited nationally at such venues as the Masur Museum of Art, Griffin Museum of Photography, and the Arvada Center for the Arts. He also recently had a solo show of 20 photographs hanging at the Highland City Club in Boulder.