The Reach Gallery Museum in Abbotsford has launched its first video with Sts’ailes carver Rocky LaRock.
In January, The Reach launched an exhibition of the local artist’s work: E’yies’lek Rocky LaRock: The Wild Inside. The collection, which will be on display until May 8, is an exploration of LaRock’s 40-year career and showcases the many mask-like carvings LaRock has created.
In February, the Canadian Council for the Arts providing funding to The Reach to augment LaRock’s exhibition with virtual and video elements.
The Reach is developing a series of short films with LaRock with these funds. The first, released on YouTube on March 17, shares LaRock’s experiences with Sasquatch and the connection to his carving.
In the film, LaRock shared a story from the early ’90s, when he had laid some food on a stump in the forest to give thanks to the Creator. On his way back home, he looked down and saw an imprint in the snow.
“I stepped back and I looked at it. And it looked like a foot. A really big foot,” LaRock said in the video.
The footprints lead from his house to the stump where he had left the food. LaRock said they were Sasquatch tracks.
Sasquatch is the anglicized form of the Sts’ailes word Sa:sq’ets, which describes the caretaker of the land around Sts’ailes. Sa:sq’ets moves between the physical and spiritual realms, and is a shape shifter — something that LaRock discovered in his forest experience.
“He can be whatever he wants to be, whenever,” LaRock said. “He can be a deer, he can be Raven. He can even be human.
“He’s our god. He’s our everything. And in return we’re looked after in a really good way.”
The Reach is planning to release more films in its series with LaRock before the exhibitions end in May.