Mullumbimby Dreaming (Mullumbimby Paintings and Poems)
Mullumbimy Dreaming (Mullumbimby Paintings and Poems) has been produced as a Catalogue for an exhibition at Tweed River Gallery (Murwillumbah), opening 8 August 2014. This book may be downloaded (in lower resolution format) here ‘Mullumbimby Dreaming’ in PDF. Please feel free to view or download this file and share and circulate it, but please do not sell it.
Printed copies will be on sale at Tweed River Gallery (for the duration of the exhibition) for $10.00. Copies may be purchased through Woodbine Press ($22.00, to cover the increased cost of postage in Australia. Please contact by email for overseas rates)
Oliver Bainbridge – Lord Nelson’s Great Grandson?
The Incredible Story of Francis (Frank) Nelson (aka ‘Oliver Bainbridge’): an Unacknowledged Casualty of the Death of Empire
Frank Nelson, born 1877 at Smith’s Flat (Upper Copmanhurst), via Grafton, New South Wales, was the son of the pioneering bush schoolmaster, Andrew St Clare Nelson (who’d been a naval cadet at one stage on the same ship as the future English King, and claimed descent from Horatio Nelson and Emma Hamilton).
Tiring of life in the slow lane, and perhaps with a sense of ‘Nelson’ entitlement, young Frank stole money from the South Grafton Post Office where he’d been employed. He spent a year in Grafton Gaol as a result of this, after which he was thrown out of home for ‘disgracing the Nelson name’, when he called himself ‘Oliver Bainbridge’.
Under his new identity this unknown colonial proceeded to make a name for himself as explorer, writer, orator, ‘anthropologist’, and spy for Empire in London and America, and mixed in the exalted circles of the royalty of old Europe, escorted the Queen of Bulgaria to the United States (1914), had an earlier audience with the English King (Bertie, or Edward VII, who his father had been shipmates with), and with two American Presidents, Theodore Roosevelt (in 1903*), and later with Woodrow Wilson.
My great aunty Nina Shore (nee Neale) had told me these tall tales as a child. I seriously started to research this material way back in 1968. Having ‘lived by the word’ Frank was reputed to have been ‘taken out’ by the IRA, aged only forty five, in Sydney, in 1922, at the beginning of the Irish Civil War, and was buried in a pauper’s grave in Rookwood Cemetery.
Earlier version of this developing work (with research assistance from my half-Nelson cousin, Sister Mary Joseph (Patricia Wightley)), were published in Australian Folklore (University of New England).
After forty five years of accumulating information (the same number of years Frank lived on earth), we have now published (Woodbine Press, 2013) this work in book form (pp. 124 + 10 (prelims) + 10 (unnumbered) pages of additional photographs), which may be purchased through Woodbine Press ($A25.00 plus postage,please contact by email, postage rates for Australia, $3.00, New Zealand, $10.00, UK and USA, $25.00).
* The Washington Times, 29 November 1003, p. 12, re visit the previous day. In 1903 Bainbridge was leading a rather ‘irregular’ life as a self-styled ‘King of Tramps’, and paying his way across America by giving public lectures in the various town he visited (with an apparent interest in secret societies). Without some context (like the purported Nelson connection) it is very hard to imagine the President of the United States of America as having an audience with some itinerant who just happened to be in town on the day.
New Collected Poems 1952 – 2012
My New Collected Poems 1952 – 2012, representing 60 years of application to the craft of verse, has now been posted as a ‘PDF’ (this paragraph) of this Website (along with my New Selected Poems (Woodbine Press, 2010) ‘New Collected Poems’ in PDF . Please feel free to view or download this file and share and circulate it, but please do not sell it.
This work (pp. 684 + 50 (prelims) = 734), with significant new poems since the publication of Anthology (2002) and an Introduction and Epilogue by Professor John Ryan, University of New England, is dedicated to Gwen Kelly. Sadly Gwen did not live to see the finished book. It was cleared from Port Botany on 23 August 2012, the day of her funeral service in Armidale.
Printed copies may be purchased through Woodbine Press ($22.00 plus postage, please contact by email) or Kardoorair Press. Sadly because of the weight of this book (coming in at just over 1kgm) the postage rates are high, and for this reason it has been posted for free viewing/downloading.
Cedar House is another river story, an Australian Wuthering Heights about environment and aboriginal dispossession (see notes at the back of book showing extensive research), that came out before The Secret River. Cedar House was reviewed very favourably by Susan Mason and J.S. Ryan in Australian Folklore, No 17 (2002), under the title, ‘If You Were a Carpenter and I Were a Lady’.
This book was in press at the time of the September 11 (2001) attacks on the Twin Towers in New York. In a white heat I added a segment (adapted from an abandoned manuscript called ‘Bombs Away’) following on from the millennium madness sequences (pp. 214 – 216), making it one of the first novels in the world to mention this shattering event.
Please feel free to view or download this file and share and circulate it, but please do not sell it. Printed copies may be purchased through Woodbine Press (please contact by email).
I have now published a second edition of The Mullumbimby Kid (2012) with additional material obtained since the discovery of my brother Jim. Please feel free to view or download this file and share and circulate it, but please do not sell it.
Printed copies may be purchased through Woodbine Press (please contact by email).
The Australian Museum Sydney: The First 150 Years
In 1977, when I worked at the Australian Museum, I coordinated the production of a rapid-fire ‘3 minute movie’ from old photographs, drawings, and animations, as part of a display to help celebrate the Museum’s Sesquicentennial, with input from the Museum Discoverers.
1977 Production: Edwin Wilson
Technical: Tony Healey
Animation drawings: Edwin Wilson, with assistance by Nicky Myers
Research assistance: John Holm, Jennifer Judges, Estelle Lazer
Camera: Carol Lazer
Music: John Freeland (flute)
This movie, shot on super-8, was recently converted into digital format zzzzzzz
Images of some of my Mullumbimby paintings are also displayed here. Inquires for possible purchase of any of my paintings should be directed to http://www.artarmongalleries.com.au (Artarmon Galleries Sydney).