In 2018, Josh Patterson took Bermudez Projects on a medium-focus Sojourn to the wilds around Southern California, in a show that often left us asking, “How did he get that shot?” – the mist burning off the forest floor, the haunted cabin, the elusive Mustang – and we could sense Patterson by our side on that trip, guiding us to his discoveries.
Patterson has a new show – Big Quiet – and this time, he takes us to the wilderness … and leaves us there.
While his Sojourn photos were mostly crisp black & whites; these nine new images explore the astounding colors of the Mojave, from an azure horizon to a fiery thunderstorm. As usual, Patterson is at the right place at the right time.
But their real accomplishment is to capture not just the scale and beauty of the Mojave’s vastness, but the thing that Patterson himself is seeking there: quiet. Places Patterson, who grew up in a cabin in the Pennsylvania woods, but who now lives in Burbank, can hear himself think. And not just “quiet,” which in Los Angeles qualifies as a moment when all you can hear is the traffic on a freeway a few miles away. But Big Quiet. This show, he says, “is my tribute to the sea of silence that typifies the wild lands of the Mojave.”
To bake Big Quiet into his photos, Patterson pulls back. Way back. Far enough to take himself out of the photos. Far enough, in The Long Way Home, it makes your feet hurt to think about getting back home from where’s he’s left you. Far – and high – enough in Racetrack Valley that there are almost multiple horizons, each framing a world worthy of its own photo. (Is that a mesa? Is that a lake? What’s at the top of that mountain? And the one behind it?)
In Hidden Cabin, the Big Quiet isn’t found inside the benighted lodging, its door invitingly open, a light inside drawing a golden welcome mat. No, look up. It’s the REALLY Big Quiet of Outer Space, with a view of the Big Dipper you never get in Los Angeles.
The 9 photographs in his exhibit range from 8 x 10 inches to 32 x 48 inches, and are available in series of three prints. All photos were taken with a Canon 5D MkIII between 2018 -2019.
Patterson says, “My hope is that I have captured at least some small part of that silence and my love of it for you to experience with me.”
Josh Patterson (b. 1973) is a self-taught artist working in photography since 2012. Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, he studied music in Alberta; toured Europe and sang with a professional chamber choir for over 10 years. His writings and photographs have been published in magazines; and his works have been exhibited in group shows. Big Quiet is his second solo show. Patterson lives and works in Burbank, CA.