I have been rereading Lewis Hyde’s The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World. It is so dense that I have to circle back every few years to refresh my memory. It takes some dedication, but the effort is worth it. In Hyde’s analysis of the currents surrounding creativity and art, he explores the notion of art as a form of gift giving. He cites the Native American concept of a potlatch, where gift giving becomes a continual reciprocal exchange. The giver and recipient switch roles, gifts moves back and forth without anxiety, ownership or one-upmanship. According to Hyde, this approach deemphasizes commerce and preserves the original #generosity of spirit and #gratitude. To quote Walt Whitman: “The gift is to the giver, and comes back most to him—it cannot fail..”
In this spirit, and as a feeble push against the commercial frenzy of the season, I am launching my own #bringingpotlatchback giveaway. At last count I have 33 small prints that are languishing in a drawer, ready to find new homes.
Starting today, I will be posting an image, or a detail, of each available print. If you like what you see, follow these steps TO ENTER:
1. 👉🏼Follow me on Instagram here:
2. 👉🏼Using the hashtag #bringingpotlatchback, share a source of inspiration (PG please) in the comments section: play/poem/ book/phrase/bon mot/photograph/song/painting/sculpture/movie/you name it .
3. 👉🏼Tag a friend to play along with us. (use the @ symbol before your friend’s user name to tag them in the same comment section as your inspiration)
You are contributing to an inspiration “collective” for others to enjoy, especially me, while helping me expand my online community in the process.
In turn, I will enlist the help of a hat and a set of hands, and choose the 🎉winners each Friday in November.
4. I will message the winners and all you have to do is remember to convo me your address.
5. Wait for the mail.
6. As each print edition runs out, I will start with the next one, until they are all gone. So as each new print appears just repeat steps 1-4. So here is a detail of the second print………. Good luck and Happy Holiday Season!