from “Sacred Encounters”; 1995, 10 minute loop; Four screen video installation
Director: Lawrence Johnson
Producer: Jacqueline Peterson
Animator: Rose Bond
“Sacred Encounters: Father De Smet and the Indians of the Rocky Mountain West” is an historic exhibit showing, through European and Native eyes, the encounter and convergence of two worlds—those of Jesuit missionaries and the Salish-speaking tribes of the 1840s.
Salish World, an innovative seven minute audiovisual program evokes the power of the spiritual world of the Salish, a world where “everything is alive” and capable of transformation. In an abstracted lodge with floor soft like woven tule mats, viewers are surrounded by images of human and animal persons, of the land, and of human ceremony; the scent of cedar; and the sounds of nature and song. In a multi-screen presentation, viewers become part of the Salish circle of life.
“In a room surrounded by four wall-sized video projections, the earthy spirituality of the Salish is presented cinematically. Tight camera shots lingering on food and the faces of children and elders cut to expansive views of seasons changing the landscape. Voices intimately tell cosmological tales. Courtesy of Portland animator Rose Bond, these stories are translated into shimmering drawings that rise from painted skin to float in the sky, and finally wind up as petroglyphs.” —Randy Gragg, The Oregonian