Kim Mahood immerses herself in the life of a small community

Writer and artist Kim Mahood.

Writer and artist Kim Mahood.

‘If anyone’s written more beautifully and modestly about this country and its people I’m not aware of it.’ – Tim Winton

‘Mahood is a writer of country. Her chapters unfurl like the ribbons of red dunes.’ – Bruce Pascoe

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 northwestern 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 owners; the mining companies have arrived; and Indigenous art has flourished.

Position Doubtful by Kim Mahood.

Position Doubtful by Kim Mahood.

Comedy and tragedy, familiarity and uncertainty are Mahood’s constant companions as she immerses herself in the life of a small community and takes part in groundbreaking mapping projects. What emerges in Position Doubtful is a revelation of the significance of the land to its people – and of the burden of history.

Mahood is an artist of astonishing versatility. She works with words, with paint, with installations, and with performance art.

Her writing about her own work and collaborations, about the country she loves, and about the work of the desert artists, is profoundly enlightening, making palpable the link between artist and landscape.


• Kim Mahood will be taking part in the following sessions at the writers festival:
Friday August 4, Making Art About Country with Roanna Gonsalves, Venkat Shyam, Joshua Yeldham and Jill Eddington.
Saturday August 5, Writing the Landscape with Bruce Pascoe, Nicolas Rothwell and Lynda Hawryluk.
Sunday August 6, Short Stories with Jennifer Down, Roanna Gonsalves and Zacharey Jane.

• For more on Byron Writers Festival visit

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