A Treasure to Share

I could not be happier than to announce this during Women’s History Month. Just a couple of weeks ago, there were plenty of great moments to share with the followers of Headhunt Revisited: With Brush, Canvas and Camera. Hang on to your seat, because this is the moment I’ve waited for and am now able to share and savor another moment where “Art Spans Oceans and Decades”!

It was 18 months ago when I first heard from Dr. Garrick Hitchcock, the anthropologist from Melbourne University. The May Newsletter spoke to this event with a subsequent post on the blog and social media. If you want to refresh your memory, just down this blog page to “Joy Amidst Hard Times”.

Dr. Hitchcock and I communicated on several occasions and, at the time, he was hoping to get back to the Torres Strait. COVID cancelled his travel until three weeks ago!!! Gwen, the granddaughter of Robin in the portrait Kai-Kai, is currently with her husband in Cairns. Garrick was able to visit with Gwen and Tom and as a gift, he quickly framed a print reproduction of this magnificent painting from 1928. Garrick said she was very emotional, crying and kissing the picture several times. I heard back from Garrick a few days later with a summary of her thoughts and comments.

THIS picture is so precious to me and will be to others, I’m sure. Reunited in spirit and love.

“This is my Athe (grandfather). When he finished working on the boats, he became a church warden. He would blow the bu shell [trumpet shell] to let people know it was time to come to church on Sunday. I remember him as a young girl, I was nine years old when he died. I see he is wearing a yellow labalaba (sarong), he is holding a dagulal (three-pronged fishing spear) and has caught some dangal wap (tusk-fish). I am crying, but I am very happy, he has come home now!” – Gwen Baira

Michele Westmorland photographing “Kai-Kai” painting by Caroline Mytinger. PHMA, Berkeley

With love and kindess for not just one month, but an entire year of celebrating Women’s History!!!

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