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.

 


 

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.

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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… 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… 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… 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… 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… Read Complete Text