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Other / 18.12.2006

Tamborine Mountain is famous for its gardens and its gardeners. Its flourishing Garden Club holds an annual Spring Festival which brings thousands of enthusiasts to the Mountain from far and wide.

The Club also looks after the Botanical Gardens which occupy 11 hectares (27 acres) and include a lake which is home to waterfowl, turtles, eels, fish and water dragons.

The Club has just published a completely revised edition of The Tamborine Mountain Gardener. The only colour pages in the book are made up of photos taken from the Archive, which I find most heartening and touching.

The book’s designer, Angela McKinstry, has designed all the Archive’s print material.

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Other / 16.12.2006

I lodge the archive with the State Library of Queensland.

In December 2006 the splendidly enlarged library in the cultural precinct on the south bank of the Brisbane River will open its doors to the public. In due course its Heritage Collections will house my camera-original tapes, the DV CAM master tapes and associated papers.

 

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Other / 25.10.2006

I am home after almost two months in Europe combining pleasure with pleasure, eg I extended my stay to attend Wildscreen in Bristol UK, which is billed as the world’s largest, most prestigious and influential event for wildlife and environmental film-makers.

I had a blast. I was able to progress my concept for a documentary series on biodiversity (my pet spin-off project, even if it is the longest of long shots). I brought back follow-up work which will continue to keep me busy for quite some time.

The archive and website were very well received. One consequence is that we have exchanged links with some more good websites. (See Links page).

I also had a couple of excellent meetings with a producer from the BBC Natural History Unit. He won the top award at Wildscreen for Life in the Undergrowth and is working on a new blue chip series. There is a move to increase the interactive component of programmes and although it is early days yet, we discussed my possible involvement in helping viewers create their own video records.

Interestingly, both the Eden Project people and… Read Complete Text

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Other / 05.09.2006

Clive and I had a productive meeting with two of the creative team at the Eden Project in Cornwall about a video installation using material from the Archive – another of the spin-off ideas I want to develop.

Eden expressed a desire to do a project with me and we plan to look at a number of options.

One thing I am keen to do is to show people how they can make their own Archives. Eden likes to energise people to do their own thing.

 

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Not The Brisbane Line / 28.08.2006

Have just arrived in the UK and had a most enjoyable interview with a Sorbonne student who is writing a thesis on British performance art in the 60s and 70s.

It’s been suggested that I write about avant-garde art in London in the swinging 60s – and my notorious past. I will, I will, but not just now!

 

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The Brisbane Line / 24.08.2006

My latest piece about environmental protection is published by 'The Brisbane Institute' on its website.

Hans Christian Andersen's story of the Emperor's new clothes is a much-loved classic about hoodwinkery, venality, wilful stupidity, sycophancy, peer pressure, and a refusal to be taken in.

It is, alas, a story which could have been written about environmental protection in South East Queensland outside the region's sparse National Parks.

The line being sold about environmental protection in SEQ by most politicians, bureaucrats, developers, planners and much of the media, grouped in a seemingly monolithic alliance, is the ridiculous notion that development and growth are consistent with preserving the environment.

“THE MAN’S NAKED”

Hans Christian Andersen’s story of the emperor’s new clothes is a much loved classic about hoodwinkery, venality, wilful stupidity, sycophancy, peer pressure, and a refusal to be taken in. It is, alas, a story which could have been written about environmental protection in South East Queensland outside the region’s sparse national parks.

The line being sold about environmental protection in SEQ by most politicians, bureaucrats, developers, planners and much of the media, grouped in a seemingly monolithic… Read Complete Text

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The Brisbane Line / 01.06.2006

The following article appears on the Brisbane Line. This is the e-bulletin of The Brisbane Institue, an independent organisation funded by a cross-section of universities, government departments, corporations and individuals. The Institute is a generator of ideas and facilitates discussion.

The common threat to the sustainability of the planet's biodiversity is the impact of Homo sapiens. Nowhere else in Australia has this impact been as pronounced in recent times as in South East Queensland.

It can only become more pronounced with an additional million plus people making the region their home in the next 20 years.

Tamborine Mountain, which has been described as a 'national treasure' has long been a battleground between developers and conservationists.

TAMBORINE MOUNTAIN & REGIONAL PLANNING

Tamborine Mountain is an undulating plateau behind the Gold Coast, at an elevation of 500 to 550 metres, surrounded by a largely uninhabited and heavily wooded  escarpment containing subtropical rainforest. It has more than 1,000,000 visitors a year, most of them from South East Queensland.

The plateau, a maximum 8km long and 4km wide, comprises a complete miniature landscape with three village areas and a number… Read Complete Text

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Not The Brisbane Line / 11.04.2006

There is a difference between the Archive and a Natural History documentary film.

'Viewers must recognise that something unfamiliar is on the screen. The Archive is a visual record, not a narrative. It can only be incidentally entertaining . . .'

A VIDEO ARCHIVE IS NOT TELEVISION

Given the ubiquity of television documentaries in general and the popularity of natural history documentaries in particular, I suspect that it will be well-nigh impossible for viewers of the Archive not to be instinctively drawn into the documentary mode of viewing.

But to fully benefit from looking at the Archive in all its rich variety, viewers must recognise that something unfamiliar is on the screen.

The main purpose is to give viewers a sense of what outstanding biodiversity is. This requires them to make a connection between all the Archive’s parts so that they’re aware that one section relates to another already seen, and that indeed all the myriad things they are looking at live in this one small place on earth.

One thing that attracted me was creating a succession of pictures within a… Read Complete Text

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Not The Brisbane Line / 06.03.2006

What does biodiversity mean to me, as an artist?

I set out to present biodiversity in an intelligible way on video – so that the viewer can get a sense of what biodiversity is and can experience its ultimate and compelling inclusiveness . . .

PRESENTING BIODIVERSITY ON VIDEO

I set out to present biodiversity in an intelligible way on video –

so that the viewer can get a sense of what biodiversity is and can experience its ultimate and compelling inclusiveness.

Why film on Tamborine Mountain? Because I live here . . . And because this is a thriving community living in western affluence, comfort and convenience, which is surrounded by outstanding biodiversity.

Apparently there are more frog species on the mountain than there are in the whole of Canada! The Mountain’s published plant list amounts to about 80% of that of New Zealand. A recent and by no means exhaustive survey increased the plant list from under 800 to over 900.

The Mountain’s biodiversity is on a par with that of nearby World Heritage Listed Areas. All this on a plateau of some 2,300 hectares surrounded by an escarpment of… Read Complete Text

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Not The Brisbane Line / 15.02.2006

'Until I came to Australia, where the energy of the earth beats so powerfully, I had known only civilisation . . .'

I arrived in Australia in February 1987. I came straight from London to Tamborine Mountain. Half my luck, as they say here.

I was bowled over by the natural abundance of the place – the brilliant colours of the birds and the size and profuse growth of the vegetation.

I had not long been in the country when I visited nearby Lamington National Park and went for a walk on one of its many trails. Someone I happened to tell of my visit, remarked that there were gorges and gullies in the park that no human foot had trodden.

This had an enormous impact on me.

Also in those early days, I took my five year -old son on a car trip north along the coast and then west into the interior. The look of the land impressed me deeply, particularly the immense flat expanses where the appearance of a solitary tree became a notable event.

As you fly for hour after hour over Australia’s vast,… Read Complete Text