After three years of fundraising, research, and preparation, in 2005 I traveled to the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea as part of an Explorers Club expedition to document existing traditions along coastal areas. The goal was to recapitulate the journey of two American artists – Caroline Mytinger and Margaret Warner – who journeyed there in the 1920s to document through portrait painting and writing the many cultures in transition.
Partnering with another woman photographer, our goal was to witness and record further cultural changes 80 years after the original art expedition. We discovered descendants of Caroline's portrait subjects and documented a rekindling of formerly outlawed cultural practices. The old ways, much of them forgotten, are being studied and revitalized by the locals themselves and are often synthesized with current religious systems.
Our two-month long trip was an officially sanctioned flag expedition of The Explorers Club, the Society of Woman Geographers, and Wings WorldQuest.