Write Around PAM: Dyani White Hawk

Wókaǧe/ Create from suite Takes Care of Them, Dyani White Hawk, 44 x 23 ¼ inches, screen print and metallic foil. A vertical rectangular print featuring the bodice of an embellished, yellow dress. The bodice is rectangular shaped with the top being slightly narrower than the bottom. The top quarter of this rectangle has a semi- circular yoke composed of ten rows of narrow white strips placed close together that resemble fringe. On this yoke three bunches of ribbon fan out from the top of the bunch in red, white, purple and navy. The bottom of the yoke has small, round, copper shapes along its edge. The majority of the bodice is a bright, variegated, golden yellow. At the bottom hem of the bodice are horizontal rows of “ribbon” in navy, purple, white, red. Just above the ribbon rows are five crosses composed of the white fringe strips from the yoke with a copper circle shape at each center. The bodice is set on a white background.

This screenprint by Dyani White Hawk was inspired by a Plains style women’s dentalium dress. You can almost feel the ribbons, the wool, the shells, the metallic details, the hemline. Learn more about the creation of this piece and the series Takes Care of Them.

Then take some time to write a bit, using something from your own closet or home as inspiration.

First, search your dresser, closet, around your home, or even in your memory and find a fabric item that carries some significance to you. Maybe it was passed down or gifted to you, or you wore it for a special occasion, or it’s super comfortable or beautiful. 

Next, take a moment to examine it. Look at the details, the texture, the color, the finishing touches. Notice any snags or tears or imperfections, too.

Now, spend 12 minutes writing about this item. We have 2 prompts to get you started. As always, you can use one, both, or choose your own adventure. Just try to keep your pen or pencil moving and write what comes.

I am holding… / The first thing I noticed…

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 Sunday posts and look for continuing weekly posts through the fall. Please share your work with us! @writearoundpdx @portlandartmuseum #RespectWritingCommunity #WriteAroundPAM 

Dyani White Hawk, Wókaǧe | Create, from suite Takes Care of Them, 2019, screenprint and metallic foil, Museum Purchase: Funds provided by the Graphic Arts Council and the Native American Art Council, © Dyani White Hawk; image courtesy of Highpoint Center for Printmaking, 2020.5.1b

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