I want us to frequently sit alone in the black of night and to rely entirely on our senses to guide us back to communing with the natural world. The snapping branches, the leaves swaying in the breeze, the unidentified animal calmly sensing you as you sense them, the quiet flap of bats and owls, the grunts of raccoons, the distant coyote yips, and rhythmic crunching of four-legged footsteps passing by, the natural flow of instinct and survival, unimpeded by human hand.
I’ve been trying to visually replicate an encounter with a wild animal.
I’ve had countless wild animal encounters. To know that this animal is watching me and that I am now part of their experience of the world is a privilege. In these moments I always show soft energy towards them as I know that they live hard lives.
In those moments we have a shared experience, something that reaches far beyond daily human life.
Encounter is roughly 100 pages hand-drawn, scanned, and then formatted into a video. When not shown on a traditional screen or in a gallery space, I project this animation outdoors at night, at random times and places, sometimes noticed, sometimes not—just like how we encounter real wild animals living in suburban spaces.
Sarah Ronald is a mixed media animal artist based in Port Coquitlam. Through her work she explores the intersection between humans and animals, examining the varying ways in which we perceive animals, and how our perceptions impact wildlife in the real world.