Personal experiences and personal passions are a common theme in this edition. Everyone who attended his fascinating lecture for the Oceanic Art Society in October 2021, would be aware of the passion held by Harold Gallasch for the Baining people and their dances and ceremonies. He has provided a detailed account, written fifty years ago, of one of his many visits to, and participation in, the ‘Fire Dance Ceremonies’ of the Engini of the Central Baining in East New Britain, Papua New Guinea. Harold worked at the Lowlands Agriculture Experiment Station for ten years from 1968 as a coconut agronomist or didiman(agriculturalist or farmer), married a Tolai woman and was initiated. He became well-known by the Baining people and was always welcomed when he visited, invited to attend many ceremonies and given permission to photograph many of them. He has a large unpublished picture archive. Harold’s detailed outline of preparations for these ceremonies will be published in the next edition of this Journal.
The day and night masks of the Baining also feature in Krisztina Turza’s review of APT10 currently on show at the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA).
Photography is also a personal passion of Bill Rathmell who has written a review of the current Pacific Views exhibition of colonial European photographs.
Crispin Howarth has brought his personal knowledge and interest in ta moko to his review of a new and definitive book on the rather controversial topic of mokomokai.
With Balgo: The Creative Country, John Carty has produced a work of great passion and also a work of personal interest to me having visited the Adult Education Centre at Balgo in 1986. I was thrilled to be able to both review this book and also see the related Balgo Beginnings exhibition that has recently finished at the South Australian Museum.