In April 2005, I was following a heron while canoeing along an uninhabited stretch of north Bruny Island shoreline when I came around a headland and saw a humble wooden house overlooking a stunning bay. A hand-made For Sale sign was nailed to a tree. I had just sold my English family home, and impulsively, I found the owner of 'Blackstone' and shook hands on the purchase of the waterfront house and 55 acres of land. The experience of living remotely and reclusively immersed in sublime, constantly changing light on water with remarkable wildlife brought dramatic changes to my life and artwork. There were three sheds on the land that I turned into art studios, and within a few years I was making more sculptures than paintings, and writing books of illustrated poetry. I lived simply and reclusively, relied solely on wind and solar power, collected rainwater from the roof into tanks, had composting toilets, and made a vegetable garden that wildlife adored. When I bought the land most of the 55 acres were over-grazed paddocks. I began an ecological restoration project with the help of volunteers and planted over 4000 native trees and understory plants, and fulfilled my ambition to create a sanctuary for the remarkable wildlife and rare and endangered species on the land.
'Blackstone', Bruny Island, Tasmania, Australia
© Photographs and text copyright Dr. Victoria King 2023.