The memoirs and paintings that Rod Moss has produced during the last 35 years are unique in their dramatisation of the lives of his trusting Aboriginal family and have been critically acclaimed nationally and internationally. In his third memoir we follow the nurturing of the curiosity and openness that has fastened him to the luminous power of Central Australia and its First Peoples. From the foothills of Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges and his city-based art education, we are taken to arid-zone Victoria where he first embraces the climate most conducive to his well-being. He returns to the city and is invited to participate in Melbourne’s dynamic experimental small school movement. Then there’s a year in the USA studying the ‘spiritual’ teachings of Gurdjieff in a Shenandoah farm setting. Travel necessarily widens perceptions and continues to pique his curiosity. A trip to a Pilbra Indigenous community opens the door on the Aboriginal world that he will spend the rest of his life coming to terms with.
Praise for Rod Moss and Crossing the Great Divide:
“When I read Rod Moss’s masterpiece The Hard Light of Day, I marvelled at the wonderful goodness and profound humanism of the man who wrote it. Ditto when I read One Thousand Cuts. Where could such a man come from, I wondered. Many readers who felt as I did will look eagerly for answers in Crossing the Great Divide. They won’t be surprised that Moss’ rich life confirms the ancient insight that wisdom comes only to people who were neither wise nor prudent when they were young. In his early and middle years, Moss’ ferocious hunger for experience – physical, intellectual, artistic and spiritual, in their many forms – was tempered by a sense of humanity as it existed in himself and others that went deep even then. The idiosyncratic, gritty but sensuous, realism of Moss’ paintings shows also in his prose, enlivening while disciplining its attention to the details of events, persons and places he describes. I know of no one like him.”
– Raimond Gaita, author and philosopher
“Crossing the Great Divide is a monumental achievement. Epic in scope, it encompasses a life-journey recorded in luminous detail, driven by an unwavering intellectual curiosity, and graced by unsparing self-reflection and humanity. It is both a portrait of a young man as aspiring artist, working his way towards his calling, and the reflections of the mature artist, who has truly crossed the divide between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples, and found a way to express his findings, and his vision, as a painter, craftsman, lateral thinker and writer.”
– Arnold Zable, author