Magnetic Island North Queensland
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August 17th 2010
"Magnetic Island - A Sense of Place" launch this Sunday

Vandhana with some of the younger contributors This Sunday, a very special book titled, “Magnetic Island - A Sense of Place” which combines a charming selection of prose and poems set against pages of superbly evocative sepia photography by an Island resident who goes by one name, Vanhana, will be launched at the Magnetic Island History and Craft Centre in Picnic Bay.

The project, which has been over five years in the making, is clearly a labour of great love by Vandhana. As an object it is a collector’s item in no uncertain terms with a heavy, cloth-bound cover which literally frames an image which could have been printed on pure gold. Turning each page presents the reader with words and images that span the years with sepia scenes that draw all subjects into a glowing “Magnetic” field of nostalgic reflection.

Vandhana told Magnetic Times, “I originally wanted to publish a photographic impression of the Island, but then that extended to a community writing project.”

Vandhana was inspired by a Doctor Jane Harrington who was writing a Phd on World Heritage places, including Magnetic Island, for which Vandhana was interviewed. 

One of the book's images: Vandhana (left) with an old school friend, Julianne le Shana at Te Nikau, Vandhana's rented house at the time
on Olympus Crescent, Arcadia

“She was developing the idea of people's connection to place, and that made me think: why not make that the theme - Our sense of Place, here, on which members of the community can write, and for my photographs to reflect. 
“I have a strong sense of belonging here, nature captivated me first - that primitive granite-dominated powerful character of the whole Island.  It is now, 13 years later, a spiritual refuge, shared home of good friends, strong community foundation, and a longed-for dream come true to live near the sea.

“Photography has been a passion since I was 15, and the magic of developing and printing followed when I left school and worked with a photographer, learning that art.  I still work with film, and black and white was my preferred style, but sepia soon overtook that.  The variations of colour using a sepia film produce evocative results, which reflect more than just what the eye sees.  I consider this to be a form of art, a visual, emotional communication.
The book was originally intended to be produced through a grant, and on a larger scale with writing workshops, but circumstances changed that Vandhana‘s parents' became ill and later died in Melbourne over a two year period.

Vandhana said, “I decided just to self-publish in the end, and some wonderful poems and prose were gradually submitted.  There are 22 in all.”

Following is one contribution to Magnetic Island - A sense of place by Marley Hannan who wrote this Acrostic Poem in 2005 when he was 11

an Acrostic Poem

M agnificent landscapes lie untouched
A mazing walks and lookouts
G reat beaches all around
N ever has anyone seen anything more beautiful
E xcites everyone who arrives
T oo hot
I t is covered in wonderful wildlife
C aptain Cook discovered it

I like living here
S o do many others
L ovely wallabies live on the rocks
A rmadillos do not
N ever feed possums
D o you want to visit?

Book and launch details:
The book is 44 pages, hard cover, limited edition, and 500 have been printed by a local printer. It will retail at $35.00. It will be available after 22nd August at the Magnetic Island History and Craft Centre on Granite Street Picnic Bay, and at the Horseshoe Bay Market.  People wishing to order from Vandhana for a posted copy can email her on or write to her at 37 McCabe Crescent, Arcadia 4819.

The book will be launched at 2pm, Sunday 22 August at the MI History and Craft Centre at 2pm.

To add your comment,
or read those of others, see below

August 17th 2010
Hi George
Thank you for a well written appraisal. I feel you have covered everything! The wonderful writers, present and remembered, made this book come to life.
Thank you.
August 17th 2010
Congratulations Vandhana! You have worked so hard. Well done. I am looking forward to the finished product!
El Cheapo
August 18th 2010
What an awesome poem by the brilliant Mr. Hannan! I'm glad it's being published!

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