Peter’s Blog

I need to place on record my feeling that overwhelmingly throughout my life, my contact with my fellow men, women and children has been a total delight.
It is a recurring pleasure which I experience each day and is among the precious things which makes my life rewarding and worth living, not least because moments of the keenest enjoyment can as readily occur with a complete stranger as with family and friends.



A cherished dream, my book   One small place on earth …  discovering biodiversity where you are,   self-published in August 2019, has been long in the making. Jan Watson created its design template nine years ago. The idea of doing a book seems to have occurred during my stay with Clive Tempest, the website’s first architect, when I was visiting the UK in 2006. By the time Steve Guttormsen and I began sustained work on the book in 2017, much of which I had already written, the imperative was to create a hard copy version of a project whose content is otherwise entirely digital.


The ‘Film Diary’ entries are selected items from the diary I keep whenever I am filming. To check location references, click on ‘Tamborine Mountain’ on the top information bar then hit the ‘Tamborine Mountain’ button on the map.


Other / 21.06.2008

Sandrine Meats, who interviewed me in London in 2006 for her dissertation on 60s and 70s performance art in the UK, wants to interview me on my next trip to Europe for an article she is writing about WHSHT (see blog 11 July 2007) for a leading French art publication. She is also interested in the essay I wrote on the Light/Sound Workshop at Hornsey College of Art, so I mailed her a copy the other day.

I am looking forward to seeing her again. The first interview was lots of fun, though my memory of events 40 years ago was rather hazy.



Other / 12.06.2008

An email has arrived from Jo Ritale, Manager, Original Materials of the Heritage Collections at the State Library of Queensland, confirming the library’s willingness to house the master edit DVCAMs of the unpublished archive. This amounts to over 40 hours, plus the associated papers. Jo will visit me when we can arrange it, to see what the archive consists of.

The main reason for the protracted negotiations on the best way to preserve the archive has been the need for The State Library to develop protocols on how to protect original digital material. The National Film & Sound Archive was suggested as a better prospect, except that the NFSA regards unedited footage as out-take material, whereas I regard it as additional, useful research material. Fortunately the State Library agrees with me.

At one point, much to my horror and that of both my editors, the library wanted to preserve the archive on analogue tape. Fortunately it has agreed to accept DVCAMs for preservation purposes and DVDs for access purposes.

The NFSA staff have no problem with DVCAMs but it was just as alarming that they insisted access should be… Read Complete Text


Other / 27.05.2008

I delivered a set of the DVDs to the Environmental Protection Agency in Brisbane with a feeling of great satisfaction, even triumph, following a meeting with the head of the Biodiversity section earlier in the month.

In March 2006 I had written to the then Director General requesting that the EPA buy the archive, only to be turned down by the Executive Director of the Parks Division citing the (to me ill-mannered) non-sequitur that the State Library already had a copy. I felt that my archive showed what was at stake in this part of the world (and still is), that biodiversity was a core concern of the EPA and that for these reasons they should have a copy. I even followed up with a tongue in cheek letter to the Minister asking her to ‘correct an apparent oversight’. It was only after phoning to request a meeting with the current Director General earlier this year that all the pieces for a successful conclusion fell into place.


My Travels / 30.04.2008

Where would we be without emails? – overlooking for a moment the annoyance caused by those people who do not bother to reply. An email has arrived from Satish Kumar whom I had contacted about six weeks ago on the strength of an article in the Guardian Weekly. He has agreed to meet me in the UK in August during my stay with Clive.


Other / 22.04.2008

Received an email from Julian Palacios, the author of Lost in the Woods about Syd Barrett and the Pink Floyd, praising the essay I wrote as part of my BA degree on the Light/Sound Workshop at Hornsey College of Art, of which I was a member. He first got in touch in December 2007, having read this website’s Press page, and asked for my recollections about the Workshop, my memories of Mike Leonard and the ‘boys from the Floyd’. He requested the essay in one of his emails. I knew I had kept it and was able to dig it out.

Mike was an architect and the Workshop’s presiding genius. I shared a flat in his house with Roger Waters and Nick Mason whom he taught at architecture college. The boys from the Floyd would come into our studio at art college and improvise to our light projections.



Other / 30.03.2008

Wrote a letter to Peter Garrett, Federal Minister for the Environment, following his March 12 reply to the email and brief paper I sent him on January 8, about rectifying the lack of protection of biodiversity in Australia’s inhabited areas. These can be more biodiverse than remote or wilderness areas. I drafted the paper soon after a meeting on the Mountain in June 2007, at which Jennie George, now Peter Garrett’s Parliamentary Secretary, asked what can we do to protect Australia’s biodiversity. I thought his letter glossed over the lack of protection and wanted to tell him so. Much good may it do me.