Mahood is a writer and artist based near Canberra. She grew up in Central
Australia and the Tanami Desert, and maintains strong connections with the
Aboriginal traditional owners and families of the stockmen who worked with her
family. She visits the Tanami every year, working on art, mapping and
environmental projects with the Aboriginal custodians.
Her latest book, Position Doubtful, (Scribe 2016) documents
this experience, exploring the relationships between Aboriginal and settler
Australians, and between people, art and country. It follows on from her
memoir, Craft for a Dry Lake,
(Random House 2000), which won The Age Book of the Year for
non-fiction and the NSW Premier’s Award.
Position Doubtful has been shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Awards, the Australian
Book Industry Awards, the National Biography Award, the Queensland
Literary Awards, and the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.
Her essays have been published in
art, literary and public affairs journals. The essay Kartiya are like Toyotas
– white workers on Australia’s cultural frontier, has become a standard
text for the induction of newcomers working in remote Aboriginal communities.
She co-edited the book Desert Lake: art, science and stories from
Paruku, (CSIRO 2013), and was awarded the 2013 Peter Blazey Fellowship, and
the 2014 HC Coombs Creative Arts Fellowship.
Her art practice explores the
interface between Aboriginal and western representations of landscape/country,
and includes collaborations with the Walmajarri painter Veronica Lulu, and
artist/photographer the late Pamela Lofts. These collaborations explore the
complexities and differences between embodied and mediated art practices.
Her artwork is held in state,
territory and regional collections.