The Front Face of Windgrove

Windgrove at Roaring Beach, Tasmania

In balance to an earlier post about the behind-the-scenes of Peter’s Windgrove, I’ll take a moment to show the front side of Peter’s 25 years of work here.

PaddockThis small photo to the right is the view of Roaring Beach from Peter’s. Above the cliff is a small bald spot, which Tassies call a “Paddock.”  This spot has been quietly calling my name to come visit and look back at all of Windgrove. I didn’t really want to lug equipment across sand dunes and bushwhack through bracken to get there (oh and did I say that there are leeches here! Yup!), but then Kathryn Gremley of Penland challenged me to get a certain type of photo of Windgrove and I guess she is in the small group of people that I can’t say no to… So off I went. Continue reading The Front Face of Windgrove

The Bathtub and a Single Mirror


Building Windgrove Peter has designed all the bathrooms, showers, and toilets to be outside and external to the house. It never freezes and this idea works well.  The bathtub is used more in the winter than now when it is hotter and summer. He says he puts candles all around the edge and a steaming bath is a remarkable experience. Mirror

It is also interesting to note that there is only one mirror in this whole complex.  In the outdoor shower.  I wasn’t fully conscience of this at first, but now I am aware that you are not seeing yourself or checking your personal appearance all the time. Maybe its an aging thing, but I like that.  Leave your personal appearance at the driveway.  It doesn’t matter here. Continue reading The Bathtub and a Single Mirror

Barely-a-House was just the Beginning

Portrait of Peter at Penland's "Barely-A-House" in 1983
Portrait of Peter at Penland’s “Barely-A-House” in 1983
Portrait of Peter at Windgrove in 2016
Portrait of Peter at Windgrove Tasmania in 2016

I met Peter at Penland School in North Carolina and took this portrait of him in 1983.  While at Penland he lived at “Barely-a-House on Hardly-a-Road”, but while there he did a major transformation on the house.  His backyard in 1983 with sauna, decks, fire-circles, dining tables and the natural world was just the beginning of the vision that he has been working on here at Roaring Beach in Tasmania for the last 2 decades. What a trip to take the same portrait 33 years later on the opposite side of the world. Click on the images to see a large version.

A Gregarious Recluse

A group of family and friends feasting in Peter's house.
A group of families and friends having a feast at Peter’s house.

The holidays and summertime have brought the usual influx of Peter’s friends, colleagues, and travelers to Windgrove.  Each of them brings their own group of friends and family along with bags of amazing food (everyone cooks here – not a restaurant in sight). This is in direct contrast to the majority of time when Peter is by himself.  Over the years since driving in the lone Peace Bus, Peter has built a huge complex to host and board friends and guests.  Many times there are conferences or workshops here and Peter opens his house to them.  Marissa, a graduate student from U of Tassie, was here last week and joked that Peter was a gregarious recluse.  Peter himself says that for 300 days of the year he is totally alone and the other 60 days is full of people, meals, tours, tennis, and conversations.  Continue reading A Gregarious Recluse

Living in the Peace Bus

Peace Bus
Click the image to see it large.

In the early 1990s Peter quit his tenured position at the University of Tasmania and bought 100 acres of bush (a Bush Lot) on the coast of southeastern Tasmania. He needed something to live in and through a series of random events came across this 1959 Bedford school bus that had been converted to travel.  The owners had written PEACE on it.  Peter bought it and kept it as is.  He drove it out to his new land and halfway down his freshly bull-dozed muddy 1 mile long driveway it got stuck. Continue reading Living in the Peace Bus

Ace Young Drone Pilot Schools Old Man

Theo Drone

Theo lives down the road from Peter and apparently he has been flying drones since before he could walk.  He heard of what model I brought and came over to check it out.  I know enough about drones to be dangerous. He being 15 and really cool knows enough about drones to be talented. We headed out to Peter’s cliffs with 3 batteries and had a blast.  Click on to see some results. Continue reading Ace Young Drone Pilot Schools Old Man

The Point at Windgrove.

The Point Pano

We walked out to the point at Peter’s Windgrove for Christmas morning and I took a 360 pano. Peter and Emily are dangling their feet off 100 foot cliffs (or I should be saying “30 meter cliffs”.) Click the image above or the link below to see it.  Definitely make it full screen, pan around, zoom in, enjoy the view.,14.60,70.0

Just Another View

WaveCrashAnother view from another of Windgrove’s look-out points.  300 yards from Peter’s house. The views are endless here.  You can hear the waves constantly. This one here could be felt. Throw in the hot sun, smell of Eucalyptus and the taste of salt spray, it’s a full sensory experience.

The Engine Behind Windgrove.

Windgrove Back View

Peter – this massive, slightly stubborn, always adorable Harvard graduate, one cylinder man-engine – has built a true accomplishment in a very remote bush location. He is regularly visited by international artists, environmentalists, thinkers, poets, and wayward travelers.  He is frequently interviewed, video-taped, and written about concerning his artistic site-specific work and building of Windgrove.  This recent short video from a series about Tasmania is perfect.  It is simply Peter talking directly about his work. Check it out.

However, Peter is a long time deep friend of mine for over 30 years and I wanted to see him, the individual.  I want the back story as much as the front story.  This photo of his complex at Roaring Beach speaks volumes to me.   Click “Continue Reading” to get a short description of what this photo illustrates. Click the photo to see the details.  Continue reading The Engine Behind Windgrove.

Emily Arrives.

Peter and Emily sitting on one of his benches, "Forest Bench," from his series, "Seating for Dialogue."
Peter and Emily sitting on one of his benches, “Forest Bench,” from his series, “Seating for Dialogue.”

Emily arrived after 40 hours of travel.  She and Peter are sitting out at one of his points overlooking the Southern Ocean.  Off to Peter’s left is Antarctica – 2000 miles away.  Peter has done a series of benches entitled Seating for Dialogue.  This one is called Forest Bench. Acres of profound moments of silence between conversations here.