Will Owen reviews Across the Desert: Aboriginal Batik from Central Australia:
And yet the batiks themselves, like much textile art, are notoriously fragile, their materials and colors both susceptible to degradation by exposure, to handling and to light. And so these exemplars of Indigenous women’s creativity have all but disappeared from view in the State galleries that display countless other examples of native styles and testify to the subtle line between art and craft that such work foregrounds.
For this reason alone Across the Desert: Aboriginal Batik from Central Australia, the recent exhibition of batik mounted by Judith Ryan at the NGV Australia, would be a cause for celebration. Similarly, although numerous publications on batik and related textile arts have appeared over the years, the catalog for this show is a resource to be treasured for the beauty and extravagance of its documentation of the movement in five desert communities.