Rock Spirits

For a show which suggests the soaring escarpments and sweeping floodplains of western Arnhem Land, "Crossing Country" is more like entering a darkened cave.

This has less to do with the vast underground spaces the exhibition commands at the Art Gallery of New South Wales until Dec. 12, or with the subterranean sheen of its bronzed walls, and more to do with the art. In the first of the rooms, figures flare up like handprints sprayed in ocher across cave walls. But mostly they dance. These figures are the mimih, the devilish rock spirits that are often...

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