Filmed and recorded over three years, “Refuge” transports the viewer from sunrise to sunset at a wildlife refuge in California's Central Valley, winter home to hundreds of thousands of migrating waterfowl.
The piece begins at sunrise with the return of geese from foraging overnight in nearby rice fields, safe from hunters. Along with many other species of birds, they feed on the ponds during the day 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 without music or narration, offering an opportunity to sink deeply into the experience of birds, water, mountains, trees and grasses. It is an interweaving of several ponds over several years, in bright sun and cloudy skies.
"Refuge" began its exhibition life as a 3-channel video installation with surround sound, displayed 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.