Cultural Paper


http://choctaw-art.com/bio.php?pg=dx2
This wood pipe, crafted by Argus Dowdy from the Chocktaw tribe of Native Americans, is a good example of three-dimensional form.  The design of the space it contains, the long hollow tube is more important than shape of the piece, as the end design and purpose is to be used.  In designing this piece, the creator had to take account the eventual use of the pipe by humans, and their relationship to it.  The Chocktaw’s neighbors of the Chickasaw, from the Mississippi Delta, were some of the most technologically advanced people in North America.  Their precision in the craftsmanship of this pipe is clear evidence of their work.  The featured red on this pipe, not only brings about passion, but also resonates and reflects fire, which is used in its final purpose: smoking.  Overall unity is achieved through the repetition of the colors, and the use of feathers near the base and closer to the mouthpiece.  The symbols used on the pipe also reflect the cultural heritage deep within the Chocktaw tribe.

The “Chickasaw’s Ladder,” painted by Kelly Hoover, represents the spiritual belief of the Chickasaw tribe, originally from the Mississippi area, that ladders connect the earth with the two other spiritual realms.  Hoover makes fine use of compositional movement in her piece, as our eyes travel from the base of the ladder up towards its peak, poking through a whole in the sky with light flooding down.  This dynamic movement allows the viewer to take on the role of a ladder climber.  The texture of the ladder, too, allows the wood pieces of the ladder to relate to the viewer as something he has already touched, and is familiar with.  Though the painting is an abstract representation, through the compositional movement and texture, the viewer is transported to this empty land about to ascend into the sky.  Through the use of contrasting color between the sky opening and the actual dark sky, an emphasis is placed on the opening. The viewer is supposed to end up in the light; the viewer is drawn towards the light.

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