Eagles rise in pairs from roadkill like dark twin souls, reluctant to become airborne, still heavy with the weight of worldly things. The sand is not red, but plays with the idea of red, sometimes becoming dark as blood, sometimes bright and raw. The low flat world on either side of the car stills us, widens us, erases our sense of city. Then at night when we drive through this desert we find we cannot imagine it, for we are convinced the landscape has suddenly become the forested, tree-verged countryside of our home in the south.
In the spring of 1950 Meanjin published Mary Cecil Allen’s ‘Notes on Central Australia’. Allen was a controversial Australian modernist painter living then in Provincetown after nearly twenty years in New York where she had written two books on art history and organised the first all-Australian art exhibition.
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