Desirée Patterson is a Canadian photographic artist currently living on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) nations, in Vancouver, BC. Her career began during a journey throughout nearly forty countries across four continents. As she documented her extensive travels, she repeatedly observed exhausted environments and impoverished situations. These experiences impacted Patterson deeply, they served as a catalyst inspiring the themes and direction of her art practice.
Patterson’s artistic process consists of digital image capture and meticulous post manipulation of form, shape and orientation, turning disparate layers into unified compositions. From creating industrial landscapes that seamlessly interweave with the human form (Éveil, 2018) and composing mountainous landscapes that embody the idea of melting (Point de Fusion, 2018), to merging endangered glaciers with climate temperature data (Anomaly, 2020) and generating macrocosmic planets that depict the precarious impact of humans on nature (Anthropocene, 2019), her work captivates and challenges viewers.
Patterson is both an artist and activist, ever aware of the harsh realities our earth is undergoing. It is within this ongoing state of dire predictions, global disasters, and bleak planetary projections that she seeks out the beauty and grace of the world in which we live in, waking us from a stilted slumber, with ambitions to propel us into collective action.
Key thematics in her work include sustainability, environmental issues, social justice and humanity’s dystopic relationship with nature.
Patterson has completed public art projects for the City of Richmond, BC Children’s Hospital and Capture Photography Festival among others. Her artworks are found within multiple public and private collections in Canada, the United States, Singapore, Europe and Hong Kong. In 2018 she trained with former Vice President Al Gore in Los Angeles, in the role of civilian leadership as part of the Climate Reality Project and in 2020, she was a selected mentee in the Futures/forward program, via the International Centre of Art for Social Change (SFU), in partnership with Judith Marcuse Projects. Through visual art, public projects and by conducting community engaged projects, Patterson feels that she can transcend societal barriers through stimulation of curiosity and imagination; creating unique opportunities to empower individuals and incite change