Thursday, January 30, 2014

A new Bounty film in the making ...

Another bonus to my trip to Cologne was meeting Madzia Bryll, Simon Quintal and Levi Carthew.
Madzia, Pauline, Simon
Madzia and Simon are working on a very interesting project. A new Bounty film with the working title of 'Huzzah for Otaheite' will be the first documentary to be made about the women of the Bounty.  They asked me to work as a consultant on their film, and after spending 5 days together, I have to say their dedication to this story is exemplary.  If I can help them present a picture of those women is based on fact and help remove the 'dusky damsel' status these women have attained in the Bounty narrative, then I will be very happy.

I was tickled pink that they came to meet me and conduct interviews.  What's more, it's much more fun to discover a new city in the company of new friends than discovering it alone.

Simon is a talented young Danish-Australian filmmaker, and Madzia is a Polish animator, teacher, and artist extraordinaire. She has long had a fascination with the Bounty story and tall ships - which led her to work for six months as a deckhand on that wonderful replica before it was lost.  Simon and Levi are both descendants - Levi is Rowan Metcalfe's nephew - who wrote the historical novel 'The Transit of Venus', about Mauatua.  Rowan's 'Transit of Venus'

by Madzia Bryll

If you read the German press then you will find my interview with a young journalist taken amongst the exhibition. Simon then began filming and Madzia and Levi began the interviews.  This was a long day for me, as afterwards I presented my paper to a sitting audience, and continued with a walk through the gallery and a talk about the tapa in the exhibition.  However, it was exciting to share the work I have done so far, piecing together the lives of the Bounty women and their daughters through the material heritage they left behind.

by Madzia Bryll

by Levi Carthew


You may wonder why we called this blog 'Tattoo and Tapa'. Tihoti's passion is design using the ancient symbols used by his tupuna or ancestors. Mine is the same, but applied on a different surface.

The designs used by Tahitians in 'tatau' (tattoo) often crossed over into the designs used in 'ahu (tapa) decoration. Some of the deep symbolism used in tatau today in Tahiti is lost, although Tihoti feels that by using nature as our inspiration we can come to understand these designs again, and from there evolve those designs beyond our misunderstandings. But that understanding has to come from a Polynesian perspective.

I am fascinated by the designs and colours used in the ancient 'ahu - everything was symbolic. Much of this knowledge is forgotten today: but not entirely. For me it has become an exhilarating adventure of rediscovery.