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Blackstone Chronicles


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About the Author

John Cameron is an Australian writer, place activist and retired academic, having coordinated the PhD program in Social Ecology at the University of Western Sydney for many years. He has a background in geology, environmental economics, consciousness studies and Tibetan Buddhism. In 1995 he founded the Australian Sense of Place Colloquium, a gathering of place scholars, activists and creative artists, and convened five extended conferences in remote locations across the Australian continent. He edited and published some of the colloquium papers as Changing Places: Reimagining Australia (Sydney: Longueville Press, 2003). He has published over 30 book chapters and journal articles on sense of place and the place-responsive society. Since retiring from full-time academia, he has been actively engaged with his partner Victoria (Vicki) King in ecological restoration at 'Blackstone' on Bruny Island, Tasmania where they have planted 4000 native trees on their 55 acres. He is an Associate of the School of Philosophy at the University of Tasmania and co-founded the Bruny Island Environment Network. Victoria King is an artist and writer. She creates paintings, sculptures and poetry that explore the experience of displacement and the gifts of nature. Her artwork has been exhibited in a major curated retrospective, fourteen solo art exhibitions and over 40 group shows. Born in Kentucky in 1951, she emigrated to England in 1972 to study with the spiritual philosopher J.G. Bennett. She became a British citizen and was a university senior lecturer in Fine Art for many years. In 1992 she moved to Australia and spent extensive periods of time at the Aboriginal outstation of Utopia with Anmatyerre and Alyawarre women artists recording their stories. Victoria received a PhD at UNSW for her thesis Art of Place and Displacement: Embodied Perception and the Haptic Ground. Her writing and artwork have appeared in over 25 books and international journals, and two volumes of her poetry and artwork have been published: Black Stone Birds (2012) and Memento Mori (2015). She was art editor for Birdsong: A Celebration of Bruny Island Birds (2014). Since the birth of her granddaughter Meadow, Vicki and John spend significant time in England to be with her and son Zack.


All started by a serendipitous encounter with a white-faced heron, this story of thoughtful, determined place making tests the practicality of ecological sustainability as an everyday matter. Describing efforts to "live lightly" on a remote 55-acre homestead on Tasmania's Bruny Island, John Cameron is both yeoman and philosopher, scientist and poet. Cameron offers a deeply resonant affirmation to the question of whether a "life of limitations" might also foster "richness and abundance." Vicki King's haunting illustrations beautifully compliment Cameron's narrative and point to "mysteries we can enter into and begin to find 'our way around' inside of." This book is a significant contribution to the literature on a lived environmental ethic. Professor David Seamon, Editor, Environmental and Architectural Phenomenology No-one writes place like John Cameron writes place. Science is his home. Spirit is his home. The world of complex ideas is his home. But beyond the analytic and creative rigour that all this entails, John Cameron's sensibilities remain grounded, sensate, alive to the intricacies and particularities of his chosen home ground. His is a wisdom of primal wonder - of delight in the vernacular currents to be found not just here, but flowing into a deeper planetary understanding. These are the essays of a singular intelligence - essays to challenge, to illuminate, to amaze. Dr Pete Hay, poet, essayist and place scholar

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