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Seattle premiere of documentary “Headhunt Revisited: With Brush, Paint & Canvas”
Inspired by a true-life adventure, Headhunt Revisited: With Brush, Canvas and Camera is a documentary film 15 years in the making.
In the 1920’s Caroline Mytinger, an intrepid American portrait artist and her friend, Margaret Warner, traveled to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands on a hunt to capture portraits of the indigenous peoples. Their four-year expedition resulted in 25 stunning paintings that depicted and preserved the culture of Melanesia in a way recorded by no other.
Upon their return to the States in 1930, Caroline’s art was curated and exhibited by famed anthropologist Margaret Mead at the American Museum of Natural History. Other venues included the Seattle Art Museum, among others. She continued to support herself as a commissioned artist, creating portraits for many titans of industry, including the Weyerhausers and Nordhoffs from her Tacoma studio.
Eighty years later, Seattle-based photographer & filmmaker Michele Westmorland led her own expedition to Melanesia, retracing Caroline’s journey to share this rare visual evidence of a culture’s history. Michele encountered descendants of four islanders featured in Caroline’s paintings, and together with artist Jeffry Feeger, showed them significant links to their forgotten past and fostering a resurgence of cultural pride.
Headhunt Revisited connects these artists in a story that is personal and universal, illustrating with painting, photography and filmmaking, that all forms of art are instrumental in communicating stories of culture and tradition.