Kim Mahood


RRP $35

Kim Mahood’s previous books have illustrated not only her skill at evoking place, culture, history of Aboriginal country through her work as an artist, collaborator, friend, observer, but also her deep understanding and exposition of Aboriginal culture and way of life in all its humour, disarray, confusion and passion. 

In her previous books, “Craft for a Dry Lake” and “Position Doubtful” her artist’s eye captured more than the scenery but a depth of understanding of desert culture, history and often shambolic ( to us) present way of life through Aboriginal communities she has known and worked with maintaining the links of friendship and collaboration.

Her knowledge and insights are brilliantly transposed for us in a series of essays as she rejoins communities, friends and workers in desert communities.  Her philosophical take that their art is a roadmap for life, culture and history, is a fascinating thread in the book. 

The contrast between this world and that of representatives, well meaning and dedicated mostly, from the Australian government is often hilarious to the outside observer reading her words. The chaos of daily life, the deeply held and respected cultural learning, the clash of white convention and happy upheaval of community life is conveyed with humour, deep understanding and affection by Mahood.  She describes the book as “ a sort of written equivalent of hunting and gathering.” 

Her knowledge, acceptance into community midst, and insight come from a childhood growing up in Central Australia and later travelling from her home base in NSW to a community in the Kimberley. This book is a result of 15 years of observation and friendships, written with skill, insight, knowledge and warmth.

You feel privileged to travel with her.


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