Seneca artist Marie Watt created Companion Species: Ferocious Mother and Canis Familiaris with the help of over 200 people who participated in two sewing circles. These collective efforts generated a powerful piece filled with energy and hope. The holiday season can be a time of collective joy and togetherness; it can also be a painful reminder of systemic and familial hurts. We invite you to spend some time reflecting and writing about this season and how it impacts you, using this artwork as a starting point. If you are with others this weekend, we encourage you to write together around a table and share your work!
First, find five words from Companion Species that you feel connected to. They could be words that hold significant meaning for you, or just the first five words you see. Write them down at the top of your page.
Now, set a timer for 6 minutes and start to write, using one of the prompts below as a starting point. Each minute, incorporate one of the words on your list into your piece. Notice how these words shape and change your story.
Here are two prompts to get you started. As always, you can choose one, both, or write whatever else comes.
Around this table… / From our pens…
BONUS write: After the initial 6 minutes end, keep writing, incorporating a new word from this piece into your writing. See just how long you can keep going!
Celebrate Native American Heritage Month with us by visiting the Portland Art Museum’s Native American art permanent collection in the main building and the new special exhibition Mesh in the modern and contemporary wing. Learn more about Marie Watt’s work at mariewattstudio.com.
Marie Watt (American and Seneca), Companion Species: Ferocious Mother and Canis Familiaris, 2017, reclaimed wool blankets, embroidery floss, and thread, Museum Purchase: Funds provided by The Ford Family Foundation and Dr. Loren Lipson, © Marie Watt, 2017.106.1
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 year. Please share your work with us! @writearoundpdx @portlandartmuseum #RespectWritingCommunity #WriteAroundPAM @marie_watt_studio