Tanami Desert Australian Sunset
- Author: Kim Mahood
- Title: Position Doubtful
- Published: 2016
- Genre: autobiography
- Trivia: (NT) #AusReadingMonth @Brona’s Books
- Trivia: #AWW @AusWomenWriters
- Trivia: List of Challenges 2017
- Trivia: #NonFicNov
- Trivia: #WorldFromMyArmchair challenge 2017
- Trivia: Position Doubtful was shortlisted for the
- 2017 Victorian Premier’s Award for non-fiction
- 2017 National Biography Award Australia and
- 2017 WON Australian Book Industry Award for the Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year.
- The book is named after a term Mahood came across
- …in her father’s account of his expedition
- across the Tanami Desert in 1962.
- He observed that the only landmark marked anywhere near his route
- …was marked Position Doubtful.
Kim, daughter of a Tanami rancher…
- grew up in the region of Tanami Desert
- …on a cattle station in East Kimberley.
- She was raised in part by Aboriginal people.
- She has a distinctly different and deeper relationship
- with the community here…
- living and working in Mulan for three months out of the year.
- Mahood has been painting a set of very large canvases
- that are at first simple topographical maps of the land.
- The maps are both works of art, but also
- documents that can help influence politics and policies.
In this book Mahood takes us with her as she returned for
- 20 years to a remote pocket of inland Australia that extends
- across the Tanami Desert to the edge of East Kimberley.
- A one time pilgrimage to the country of her late childhood has
- morphed into yearly field trips with her artist friend Pam Lofts.
- “We were like migratory birds, driven to return year after year.” (pg 290)
There were very arcane chapters in which Manhood explains
- how she uses archaeological grids as an intermediary between
- her map making project and observance of aboriginal paintings.
- She learns to read the desert landscape with skill.
- Mahood uses these skills to give her maps and paintings the
- visual shimmer of the desert breathing the Aboriginal essence into her works.
On a personal note….Mahood touchingly reveals her grief for
- friend Pam Lofts as she dies from MND (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
- She describes the map of their friendship.
- Mahood’s also makes peace with dog ghosts
- — Old Sam who made the first pilgrimage,
- Slippers for seven trips and now her pal Pirate.
The best chapters are the last 3:
- Unstable Horizons
- …just because they are so personal. (pg 286 – 339)
- This was a very informative but more importantly moving book.
- Kim Mahood can PAINT and WRITE !
- It is a combination of Jung and Geography
- It confirms what I also feel
- ….place, memory and emotion are inextricably linked.
- Bravo…Kim Mahood
- #MustRead or #MustListen audiobook.
- PS: For @Brona’s Books
- …I learned another word that pops into my head
- ….when I think of Australia: “the cockroach bush!”