Bruny: the place

Easy to get to and so hard to leave best describes most people’s feelings about Bruny Island.  40 minutes from Hobart and a 20 minute car ferry ride from Kettering to Roberts Point.  At the southern most end of the world – Bruny Island is off the mainland of Tasmania – an island amongst an archipelago of 374 islands.  And further south than that – Antarctica. Ferry photographs by Jetsetvagabond.Islander’s and Shackies alike depend on the ferry, the Mirambeena (from the Aboriginal word ‘welcome’) – coming into Roberts Point.The true ‘shackie’ is a master in the art of recycling.  In this case, Dave’s garden behind the ferry cafe at Roberts Point is evolving as organically as the compost he creates from road kill, vegetation and green waste.  A true beachcomber, the enclosed garden is testimony to the creative spirit of the ‘shackie’ – that of fossicking, foraging and fishing.Much of the flora of Bruny is of a magical scale.  Orchids abound on the island if you know where to look and have been well documented in a little book by Allegra Biggs-Dale. Birds are abundant in and around the water’s edge, and during a recent weekend in May this year (2011), we witnessed the release of a 3 year old White Bellied Sea Eagle, just off Umbrella Point by Craig Webb from one of Rob Pennicott’s cruise boats.  Webb runs the Raptor and Wildlife Refuge of Tasmania.  Bird photo by Luke O’Brien.

Down at Dennes Point, an interesting complex (art gallery, store and cafe) has been built with community effort and a grant from the Commonwealth Government and the Kingborough Council.  Designed by John Wardle and Associates, the complex houses Art at the Point, an art gallery dedicated to work of Bruny island artists.The ‘Paper Nautilus’ sculpture (featured at left) by Dan Tucker very much reflects the philosophy of the Community Centre – this work is on permanent display as it is being purchased by public donations.  A neat way to purchase a major art work.  Featured also are glass beads by Kate Mills and an etching detail by Jo Sculthorp.  Like many Tasmanian artists, the work of the islanders is very much informed by the place itself – whether its from materials gathered from the island or inspired by its environs.These are some of my more recent works developed primarily for Art at the Point – porcelain slip cast double walled bowls with a special ochre sourced from a local beach on Bruny. With thanks to Jetsetvagabond for this shot of the Neck, featuring Isthmus Bay in the D’Entrescasteaux Channel and Adventure Bay.Two extremes of The Neck – the rolling waves of the Tasman Sea at Adventure Bay, and quiet calm of Isthmus Bay.Mum hauling in a tinnie – too many Christmases ago when we were all younger!  She and and step-Dad Jim lived at Adventure Bay and ran the Bligh Museum for many years.

The Bligh Museum is an independently run Museum that houses a mixed collection of maps, documents and other artifacts relating to exploration in the South Pacific. The building was constructed in 1954 with some 26,000 hand made bricks from the convict kiln at Variety Bay, North Bruny Island. The foundation stone was laid on 200th anniversary of Captain William Bligh’s birth – 9th September 1954.


Coastline of southern Bruny Island, part of South Bruny National Park where the Southern Ocean meets the Tasman Sea.

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2 Responses to “Bruny: the place”

  1. belinda Says:

    I love it Pen, especially mum bringing in the tinnie. Lots of love Bind x

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