Still a life in words and pictures…



Folks, for now, as you may  have noticed, I’m not doing a lot over here at frangipani 2.0 now that I’m living in such a slow and quiet part of the world. I did have high hopes but you know, facebook makes it so easy to stay in touch with people and so I find myself there more than here.

I’m not going to discontinue this blog by any means, and certainly if things get more exciting in my life then I will have reason to post pics and stories, but for now I’d suggest – if you wanna stay in touch – that you visit me at (my official photography site) or at the Martine Cotton Photography Facebook Page. Things are a lot more active over there.

Oh, and people who arrived here looking for my old manholes of Japan galleries, I’m sorry but I deleted the gallery some time back. Seems I get truckloads of referrals from other sites linking to the old manholes gallery. I’m sorry to disappoint you but you were sucking up way too much of my bandwidth.

Hope you’re all well, my friends!


The end of 2009…

2010 is almost upon us. So it’s time to look back at the year that was and reflect. Or so I’m told.

I like that life is gently guided through cycles and stages by seasons, lunar cycles, calendar months, changing years….. I’ve always loved December in Australia. Didn’t mind it in Japan either, but it was never the same being COLD! December in Australia is full of that vibe – the shimmering potential of the summer holiday season and the coming new year. Heat, watermelon, mango’s, school summer holidays, parties, BBQ’s, going down the creek, secret santa gifts, surfing santa….. it’s a lot of fun.

Anyways, it’s been 10 months since my return to the Lucky Country, and yes, it’s been quite a trip (in every possible sense of the word). I am currently the healthiest and resultingly the happiest I’ve been in years, and (in an interesting juxtaposition), also the heaviest I have ever been. Ha.

So what’s been going on since my last editorial visit to Frangipani 2.0?

Well, Sigsy & Keisuke came for a visit from Tokyo and we got all arty in the park under a full moon….

and we visited a croc farm… AMAZING place.

We wandered around the lovely gorge on a DREAMTIME tour with a member of the KukuYalanji as he explained the rainforest to us.

We ground up ochre and painted ourselves…..

We visited beaches in other places and dined at great restaurants and soaked up the full moon some more.

When they left, I got back to work. I love being a photographer, so many unexpected experiences present themselves. One day I found out at 9 am that I would be going up in a microlight at 11 am to photograph another microlight. It was really quite special – once the initial fear wore off, and here I show you some of the unadjusted out-takes.

Interesting challenge, trying to photograph from one of these hang-gliding motorbikes… I couldn’t wear a helmet because the space was so constrictive I wouldn’t have been able to get to my viewfinder.

I have been getting some great photo work. Various magazines and whatnot. Below is a shot I took for a green mag in Sydney. There are some incredible properties around this region that specialise in rare and endangered tropical edible plants. This was a selection that a property owner gathered from around his rainforest that morning. Permaculture and plant/animal biodiversity-themed farming are in widespread practice here.

Been meeting some great people. I don’t get out much so it’s been slow-going in the meeting people stakes. This lovely fella is a multi-talented artist who recently opened his own cafe-gallery in the main street. I took this picture for the newspaper and he liked it so much that he is making me of of his funky signature bangles. Yay. I visit the cafe most days for some coffee and company. Tres chic, tres cool, tres oasis of inspiration and counter-pubculture-redneckism. Much needed in this part of the world.

Oh. And I turned 42. Loved the return to a SUMMERTIME birthday. We kept it simple. A late afternoon picnic in the park with family and a few friends, a dusk BBQ, barefoot cricket, kids, cake & candles and beer. Check out the view. Spesh. Truly.

Here are some of the new peeps in my life. The lovely Upasana and Kimmy. Me in the middle looking excited that anyone showed up at all.

Night fell. Candles were lit.

Kids were excited.

It was a lovely, lovely day.

I plan to spend Christmas with my bro’s family, then get up at 6 am the next morning for a big roadtrip south to attend the Woodford Folk Festival. After that I’ll float around Brisbane a bit, the fly to Adelaide for Tracey and Ash’s wedding (I’ll be photographing), then FINALLY visit the Melbourne crew for a few days before flying back to Brisbane, jumping back in the car and driving north again. Hopefully when I return I will have formulated an exit strategy.

Folks, I hope that all is well with you and yours, and I wish you an awesome Christmas and a fantastic New Year. 2010, bring it on.

Oh, and go and see AVATAR 3D. Tomorrow. Seriously.


the) BODY of) EARTH

Not sure I ever shared the video that Irish filmmaker Richard Grehan made to accompany the photobook I made with the outstandingly creative whirling dervish Kate E Deeming last year in Shibuya. (I wrote about it a little last year) That was such an amazing night.

Filmed by Richard Grehan, Music Douglas Lee.

In April 2008 Performance Artist/Filmmaker Kate E. Deeming created the character “Body Earth”, as a physical representation of Mother Earth. She then crawled on hands and knees in Shibuya, at Hachiko Crossing, Tokyo, (the busiest crossing in the world) in between the pedestrians as a way of drawing attention to the missing consideration of the physical human dimension in all of our chats about “this environmental crisis”. Martine Cotton, photographer and Richard Grehan, filmmaker, joined her on this exploration to document the ‘performance’. The photos contained in this volume were not staged, but taken documentary style over the course of the Saturday evening. They serve as a potent reminder to our personal responsibility towards the nurturance of the planet. Created in response to Earth Day.

The book is available for purchase at BLURB. You know you wanna….

**A percentage of the proceeds of this book will be donated to the Glasgow Women’s Library

My (not so) new home…

My new home

This is the little town I moved to. It’s a pretty place. I’m not going to say its name because half the town run google vanity notifications for whenever there is a mention of the place and I don’t want my personal blog to pop up on office monitors all over town.


It’s a funny little boutique resort town and there is this hilarious idea that it’s a millionaires playground, and that everyone around here is loaded. That, unfortunately, couldn’t be any further from the truth. Unless you’re in hospitality or boats, it’s no easy task to find a decent job. The average pay – regardless of your education or experience – is between 35 – 50 000. Even for managers. Locals say that it’s the price you pay for living in paradise.


It’s a pretty typical small town in most ways. There is a strong, lively and political community here. The barflies hold court at either one of the two local pubs and talk about everything and everyone and get all fired up about stuff. It seems barflies rule the roost here. There is an insane amount of gossip. And no such thing as six degrees of separation, naturally. Here it’s one or two. I think that’s why I love True Blood so much – it’s set in a tiny town where everyone knows everyone else’s business and everyone is a little nutty. Same as here. And while it can get mighty bitchy at times, there is also a lovely sense of family and protectiveness when things go really bad for someone. Touchingly so.


As an antidote to Tokyo, I couldn’t have picked a more perfect place. I live a quiet, peaceful, hermetic existence – I walk on the beach most mornings and evenings, hang out with my nephews and niece when they are free – visit the odd friend every so often. It’s a great place to sort my health and my head out. Money has been an ongoing problem, the work comes and goes like the tides. Being a freelance photographer /event organiser / online marketer is fraught with uncertainty. But it’s the price you pay for freedom .


As my health & energy levels return, so do my motivation and inspiration. I reckon the ongoing rapid rise of these two integral elements will do wonders to improve my work opportunities. It’s all good. Well, it’s all GOING TO be good.




People have been requesting pictures of the apartment. So here they are. Enjoy.










frangipani 2.0

Howdy and welcome to frangipani 2.0! It looks kinda familiar doesn’t it. I didn’t want to lose the colour scheme.

The site is – at this point – still full of bugs, which is to be expected with the import of such a massive database from one system to another…. I’m working on it, but in the meantime, let me know if you find anything askew.


The new life.

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Folks, for now, as you may  have noticed, I’m not doing a lot over here at frangipani 2.0 now

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