Two new books by Jamie Kirkpatrick, and more!

For those who’ve lived in Tasmania, the endless campaigning to protect our unique and wonderful natural environment can all seem very serious and exhausting, yet if there is one thing all those involved in these movements will surely have in common, it’s an echo, somewhere in their memories, of Jamie Kirkpatrick’s joyous laughter. Jamie, AM, Distinguished Professor at the University of Tasmania, and recipient of a Eureka Prize for Environmental Research, has made it his life’s work to try to figure out, how we can ensure that natural diversity outlives the fossil fuel era to continue to enrich the future‘.

Jamie has written many erudite scientific works and useful books about Tasmania’s biodiversity. What often comes across in these is by no means dry, but, rather, a real love of language. Jamie has a very direct and down to earth way of saying things that will often leave readers laughing out loud at the blatant stupidity and bizarre contradictions characteristic of humans.

Recently Jamie has detoured into less overtly scientific writing, to express his perception of the folly of it all. Publishing The Tasmanian Development Calendar, in 2016, and Conservation Worrier, in 2017, under his own label: De Press Inc. I really love the authenticity of these works and how richly they convey Jamie’s idiosyncratic ways of seeing and explaining the world, along with his unique voice and sense of humour. That’s why I am really pleased that Bright South is partnering with De Press to bring you something that, I hope, is not depressinc at all – two new books by Jamie and friends:

Art by Nature is a reflection on reflection; asking the question, ‘does all human art mimic nature?’ It comprises photography and texts by Jamie. Not only does Jamie set words loose in this book, to enriching and delightful effect, but he also offers us the opportunity to see the world through his eyes, and a surprising world it is!

Mr Caterpillar and the Special Timbers Incident is subtitled: A morality tale for caterpillars, children and adults. The work was co-authored by a group calling themselves The Mr Caterpillar Collective. Mr Caterpillar, himself, is a very animated toy caterpillar prone to falling through portals. He finds himself in such unlikely places as a tasty myrtle forest, Cabinet boardrooms, a threatened midden and a specialty timbers shop. Things get particularly hairy when he is spotted by Mr Scientist.

To launch Mr Caterpillar and the Special Timbers Incident and Art by Nature, Jamie, the Mr Caterpillar Collective and Bright South are presenting a special performance of Mr Caterpillar and the Special Timbers Incident. There will be food, there will be music, and there will be a caterpillar. And there will also be an exhibition of selected images from both books, which are for sale. We’d love to see you there!

Update 24th November 2019:  We previously advertised that Emily Sheppard would be entertaining us, but for personal reasons she cannot be present. We’re very sorry about that, but we still guarantee you some great music and lots of fun, and the caterpillar friendly food! 


Performance by The Mr Caterpillar Collective, and dual book launch: Saturday 7th December 2019, 4-6 pm.

Exhibition: 7th and 8th of December, 2019, open from 10am – 4pm.

Kingston community hub locationLocation: Kingston Community Hub (that’s on the old school site, between the Coles shopping centre and the Kingston Bypass.

Both books and images will be for sale.

Please contact Bright South if you have any questions.

Jamie Kirkpatrick Gargoyles
‘Gargoyles’ (detail), from Art by Nature.