45 minutes, 2020
Filmed and recorded over the past three years, "Refuge" is a dawn-to-dusk portrait of a wildlife refuge in California’s Central Valley, winter home to hundreds of thousands of migrating water birds.
As the sun rises, geese return from foraging overnight in nearby rice fields, safe from hunters. During the day they feed on the ponds along with many other species and rest for their return flight to the north. At sunset they lift in huge flocks to forage again in the safety of night.
The day in "Refuge" unfolds slowly with no music or narration, offering an opportunity to sink deeply into the experience of birds, water, mountains, trees and grasses. It can be viewed as a narrative piece, a visual meditation or a sound poem.
"Refuge" began its exhibition life as a 3-channel video installation with surround sound, shown on three 65" television screens arranged in a shallow arc so that viewers were enveloped by image and sound.
I have reconfigured it as a single-channel, stereo piece for the web in the hope it can provide a bit of refuge in this very difficult time.