With so much information available in the modern digital age it sometimes feels that we know, collectively, almost everything. In this edition Professor Ian McNiven shows us that this is wrong and that something as simple as the geographic origin of an artefact is still a matter of research.
In Ian’s thought provoking paper, Beyond Bridge and Barrier, he discusses the complex relationship between the indigenous peoples of North Queensland, Papua New Guinea and the Torres Straits Islands as revealed by ethnographic artefact distributions. Some object types were shared over vast areas; others stayed in quite a restricted locale. This indicates much wider cultural connections than previously thought, where it was assumed people (and their artefacts) traditionally remained in small and defined regions. It is the artefacts that are one of the keys in allowing the story of pre-colonial existence to keep unfolding, deepening our understanding of human habitation in this most fascinating region.
The Australian Museum has finally completed the mammoth task of moving some 40,000 objects from College Street to a new storage facility in Rydalmere to allow the Museum to host large international exhibitions. Bill Rathmell reports on the palpable sense of relief on the part of the AM to have this behind them and on how the new facility will function.
Emilie Jolly reviews Conru Editions new Sepik Ramu Art, which adds to his previous books on the art and culture of specific Pacific regions. Like them this book is illustrated with the most stunning images by Hughes Dubois, some of which are featured, and the erudite contributions of OAS members Dr. Barry Craig; Crispin Howarth and Dr Virginia-Lee Webb.
Chris Boylan reports from Cannes on another photographic enterprise of the highest quality – the works of Wylda Bayrón on display at Le Musée de la Castre. Wylda’s work turns the people themselves into art works and illustrates the very close connection between landscape, nature and art.
This is the last edition of the Journal before the OAS AGM, which will be held on November 19 in Mosman, Sydney. Always an interesting and enjoyable event, attendance is highly recommended. More information and official correspondence to be sent to members.