The Confluence Project is interpretive artwork by world renowned artist Maya Lin, created to reflect the people and environment of the Columbia River Basin.
It is six public art installations at significant points along the Columbia River system. Confluence is a collaboration of Pacific Northwest tribes, renowned artist Maya Lin, civic groups from Washington and Oregon and other artists, architects and landscape designers. The project stretches 438 miles from the mouth of the Columbia River in the west to the gateway to Hells Canyon in the east, with sites in both Oregon and Washington.
The six completed sites:
CAPE DISAPPOINTMENT (ILWACO, WASH.)
FORT VANCOUVER (VANCOUVER, WASH.)
SANDY RIVER DELTA (TROUTDALE, ORE.)
SACAJAWEA STATE PARK (PASCO, WASH.)
CHIEF TIMOTHY PARK (CLARKSTON, WASH.)
CELILO PARK (NEAR THE DALLES, ORE.)
These are “teachable places,” transformed and reimagined to explore the confluence of history, culture and ecology in our region. Each work references a passage from the Lewis and Clark journals as a snapshot in time, while comparing it with the deeper story. Visit the Confluence project online experience at www.journeybook.confl uenceproject.org.
The local installation at Chief Timothy Park is scheduled for completion in 2015. Located on an island at the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake rivers in Clarkston, Washington, it is the only Confluence Project site that still resembles what Lewis and Clark saw 200 years ago. Here, Maya Lin is fully restoring a section of the island to native grasses and wildflowers and will install a large, stone-rimmed earthwork: a “listening circle” sculpted out of a natural amphitheater located at the top of the island. The shape is inspired by a Nez Perce blessing ceremony performed here in spring 2005, at which the women were seated facing north, the men facing south, and the elders facing east, with no one allowed to pass behind them. The form of the “listening circle” also arises from Maya Lin’s initial response to this site, where she envisioned creating a modern-day hieroglyph, representing waves moving on the water. A pathway from the parking area will lead to the top of a hill, and around and down into the amphitheater before connecting with other trails on the island. Near the top of the island, at a slight outcropping facing the basalt cliffs on the opposite shore, Ms. Lin will set this passage from Clark’s journal:
“Worthy of remark that not one tick of timber on the river near the forks and but a fiew trees for a great distance up the river” -William Clark, Oct 10, 1805, 2 miles upstream
Visitors to this Nez Perce homeland will experience the planned “listening circle,” and focus their attention on the breeze through the trees, the gentle sound of the water, and the muted browns, greens and yellows of the enduring landscape that surrounds them.
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