NatureArt Lab

Studio Event: BOOK CLUB GROUP - 4 July 2022 - Limited bookings available!

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Join us for our fourth NatureArt Lab book club event - focusing on the engaging book 'Diary of a Young Naturalist' by Dara McAnulty.

Bookclub overview:

Do you read to be transported into other places? Would you like to deepen your knowledge of nature beyond what we can see around us? In this book group, we will explore books and writing that ignite our curiosity about the natural world, develop our understanding of issues in conservation and enjoy writing that celebrates and enhances our appreciation of the world around us.

We are a welcoming group who will meet approximately each six weeks to discuss a selected work and the broader questions it raises about conservation and the actions we can take locally to address issues.

Date:     4 July 2022

Time:     Monday evening from 6pm - 8.30pm

Venue:   NatureArt Lab Studio, M16 Artspace, 21 Blaxland Crescent, Griffith, ACT

Price:     NatureArt Lab Members $10, Non-members $20.  (Price includes wine                          and nibbles)

Membership Discount Note: NatureArt Lab members can contact for a membership code for use with this event (or if you recently joined this code will be in your welcome membership email).

Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty

Our fourth book for discussion is by Dara McAnulty, a naturalist, conservationist and activist from Northern Ireland.  Diary of a Young Naturalist won the Wainwright Prize, Britain's major award for nature writing (2020); the first in a string of notable awards.  The book evolved from Dara's nature blog, which he commenced writing when he was 12, in which he records his wonder and excitement about the plants and creatures in the world around him.

Dara has described how close observation of the natural world and writing about his experience is a powerful, even necessary, way for him to navigate the complexities of his world and to find meaning as an autistic youth. His writing and keen observation is immersive, guiding he reader to notice details and wellspring of joy in connecting with the natural world.  The Diary i also a call to arms; an urgent plea to conserve the natural world in which we are entangled.

Publisher's description

Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of a 15-year-old Dara McAnulty's world.  From spring and through a year in his home patch in Northern Ireland, Dara spent the seasons writing.  These vivid, evocative and moving diary entries about his connection to wildlife and the way he sees the world are raw in their telling.

Diary of a Young Naturalist portrays Dara's intense connection to the natural world, and his perspective as a teenager juggling exams and friendships alongside a life of campaigning.  'In writing this book,' Dara explains, 'I have experienced challenges but also felt incredible joy, wonder, curiosity and excitement.  In sharing this journey my hope is that people of all generations will not only understand autism a little more but also appreciate a child's eye view on our delicate and changing biosphere.'

Further reading:

Book review by Alex Preston in The Guardian:

Book Review by Alex Marshall in the New York Times:

Dara McAnulty in conversation with Lauren St John at the Barnes Children's Literature festival (from about the 2 minute point):

About our facilitator: 

Julie Hotchin is a historian who loves walking in the bush and other wild places. She is fascinated with birds and is just starting to hone her skills in photography. Julie is an avid reader who in recent years has developed a great interest in nature writing and literature that engages our senses and prompts us to connect with the world around us through the power of language. Julie is a member of the Friends of Black Mountain and is involved in a project to record the oral histories of several people who have been involved in conservation, community education and scientific study of the remarkable biodiversity of Black Mountain since it was declared a nature reserve in 1970. She loves conversations about the wonders of the natural world and looks forward to exploring writing about nature and issues in conservation more deeply with others through this book group.

Julie Hotchin - our facilitator




COVID 19 Procedures - please note that limited tickets are available at this stage to ensure that we comply with current ACT Government regulations for management of COVID 19 and any person attending must comply with all instructions. Specific COVID measures that are required for the conduct of this meeting will be advised separately via email closer to the event.