Write Around PAM: Bernice Akamine

‘ahu ‘ula, Bernice Akamine, size 2 1/2x 5 inches in diameter, dyed goose feathers, copper wire, and glass seed beads. A small, feather-clad, bowl-shaped basket shown from slightly above to provide a view inside. The outside of the basket is covered in overlapping feathers that create dense swaths of bright colors. From left to right, the colors are red, black, and yellow. The colors appear to swirl around the basket on a diagonal with each color of feather blending slightly into the next. Inside, the basket’s structure is revealed to be composed of a series of looped copper wires adorned with alternating small black and white beads. The feathers are clearly visible though the loose weave of the basket’s structure.

Inspiration for our writing comes from all sorts of places, and evoking our senses can provide especially rich imagery and connection. This week, we invite you to spend some time with this Bernice Akamine piece, imagining what it might be like to hold it. To sit with it in your lap. To move it around in your hands. To lift it to your face. To reach inside. Before or after you write, take some time to learn more about Akamine’s life and art.⠀

We have some prompts to help you get started. You can choose one, both, or follow your own adventure. Set a timer for 12 minutes and just keep the pen moving.

In my hands… / Reaching inside…

Writing in community is powerful. We are grateful to our longtime partner Write Around Portland for the writing prompts and inspiration. You can revisit past posts from Sundays beginning in May. Please share your work with us! @writearoundpdx @portlandartmuseum #RespectWritingCommunity #WriteAroundPAM  

Bernice Akamine, ‘ahu ‘ula, 2011, dyed goose feathers, copper wire, and glass seed beads, Museum Purchase: Funds provided by an Anonymous Donor, © Bernice Akamine, 2012.99.1 

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