Since the publication of her prize-winning memoir Craft for a Dry Lake in 2000, writer and artist Kim Mahood has been returning to the Tanami desert country in far north-western Australia where, as a child, she lived with her family on a remote cattle station. The land is timeless, but much has changed: the station has been handed back to its traditional landowners; the mining companies have arrived; and Indigenous art has flourished. By immersing herself in the life of a small community, and in her ground-breaking mapping projects, Mahood seeks to understand her own place in the country she loves, and the disparate cultures that inhabit it. Her investigations of the structures and patterns of the land have attuned her to the country's topography, its plant life, and its ever-changing moods, and led her to a deep understanding of the significance of the land in the psyche of Aboriginal people, in the forming of their relationships, and in the making of their art. Kim's own connections with the land, and the legacy of her settler upbringing on her attitudes and relationships, are concerns that stimulate her constant introspection. Kim herself is an artist of astonishing versatility. She works with words, with paint, with installations, and with performance art. Her writing about her own painting, and about the work of the desert artists, is profoundly enlightening. She captures the look and feel of the paintings, and of the desert environment that they represent so acutely that her writing makes palpable the link between artist and landscape.
Publication Date: 01-Aug-2016
Publisher: Scribe Publications