See How You Feel – Native American Inspiration

See How You Feel - Native American Inspiration Photography, Digital Art & Creative Writing Workshop

Photography, Digital Art & Creative Writing Workshop

With Jeremy Dennis, Artist/Educator and Megan Chaskey, Poet
Hosted by Daniela Azzi, Art Teacher, Southampton High School

The assignment was to photograph each other and create a digital collage with a written response inspired by a Native American legend or myth. The students were given an introduction by Jeremy Dennis about Native American art, artifacts, myths and legends. Technical instruction about the cameras and photographic techniques was taught by Rameshwar Das and Jeremy Dennis. Poetry and the creative process taught by Megan Chasky, encouraged the students to express their ideas in a collage of words and images. Daniela Azzi facilitated the process by guiding the students through all phases of the workshop, providing computer access and excellent instruction with the digital tools.

Student Artwork:

Student Writings:

Fear spread like spilled water on people, the fear of the unknown future that he was telling, we chose then the option of change … change the air for water and legs for a tail, and leave the earth through the depths of the ocean but still coming back to admire where our home was.

In the sky there was an island, on the island there were sky people.

Sky, clouds, rain, water, ocean, sea animals; turtles & the birds fly high

Sky, clouds, island people

Sky, sun, trees, flowers, sweet smell

Sky, sun, flowers die, trees fall

Sky, moon, a woman falls 

Sky, moon, birds flies high and take the woman out of the sky

“Turtle’s back becomes sky woman’s home”

Mother of Haudenosaunee

We were crossing the field with Iktomi and Spider. While we were crossing the field we saw a rock in our way. We looked closely at the rock. I thought it was important so I put my blanket on the rock. I felt bad, the rock as covered with moss and a lot of cracks. Then it started to get really cold and started to rain so I wen’t yo the cave. I was very cold and my teeth clattered and I shivered. I wen’t to the rock to get my blanket. The rock didn’t give it back to me and started to go after me. I ran through the forest my friend left me behind. The rock chased me until the end of the forest and I got crushed.

I was wrong, I made a huge mistake. I shouldn’t have shot that arrow at the gods. I might die because of this.

I’ve made a huge mistake. I feel the cold water slowly capturing my feet under the ground.  I try to escape but the water is too fast. I use every last bit of my strength to climb the tallest trees and the tallest mountains. I finally reach the top, exhausted. I look up into the neverending sky and plea for mercy. Then the water finaly stopped rising. I had won.

Before the flame and the warmth of the sun, the Earth was a cold and awful place. Everything was cold and iced, the feeling of the touching the snow would send chill down my back. One day my people choose to send an animal to the heaven to ask for the fire and the warmth of the sun. I was chosen by my people to go to the heavens and retreat the flame. My journey was a long tiring flight. Once I arrived it was a beautiful place with flowers and roses, this was the first I have felt the warmth of sun, it felt astonishing how the rays of the sun felt. I was giving a magical pole to bring escort back to earth. On my way down the pole was heating up and soon became fire. I was entrusted by my people to bring the flame back to earth. The fire wrapped around me but I was not going to let go and let my people down. I crash landed and before my eyes closed I saw snow melting and the sun rising. When I woke up I saw my beautiful feather burned to ash. My voice changed to an awful deep chirp. Through all the pain, I saw my people happy feeling the warmth of the sun. My people celebrated and were thankful and grateful.

For you, maybe it won’t be a big deal

The world is losing love;

          For you, maybe it won’t be a big deal

Hearts are getting cold and people unhumble;

        For you, maybe it won’t be a big deal

He’s losing his fur, he’s cold, and he can’t control it;

     For you maybe it won’t be a big deal

Forests and people dying each day;

   For you it won’t be a big deal… until he wakes up and turns everything in a new beginning.

As I flew through the skies, I began to realize how big of a journey I had set myself upon. I could already feel myself becoming weaker as the altitude increased. but I had to endure, for I would be seen as heroic if I managed to return from my journey successfully, with the ember of an everlasting fire.

Southampton High School Students
Daniela Azzi, Art Teacher
Jeremy Dennis, Artist
Megan Chaskey, Poet

Video Production
Rameshwar Das
Kate Rabinowitz
Annemarie McCoy
Mike Lavin

Special thanks to
The Joy of Giving Something Foundation
Guild Hall Education Programming