291 Film Company Cinematic Television

Landscape as Muse

Season Two - Episode 23

Pocket Desert with Richard E. Prince
Colleen Cutschall is a painter and installation artist of Lakota heritage. Her work has long been concerned with the history of first peoples. This is not a history written on paper but history seen on the land and rocks, the skies and stars, and in the sprits of her people. Her facination with "archaeo-astronomy" guides us to otherwise unknown sites in Southern Manitoba. She explains how the countless ancient earth mounds, altered boulders, petroglyphs, and cairns, were created for ritual or practical purposes. Many of these sites correlate to the stars and were likely used for astronomical observation.

Cutschall creates a mural-like painting of these sites on a teepee liner canvas, which she describes as "an earthly reflection of what is in the cosmos." Finally her painting/liner is hung on the inside of a majestic teepee in the prairie.