Publication Details

McLean, I. A. (2009). Dreamtime. Artlink: Australian contemporary art quarterly, 29 (1), 16-19.


On the 13th December 2008 the Weekend Australian Review reported the mysterious 'vanishing' of the artist Spider Kalbybidi. A senior Anangu (Western Desert) law man, 'it was widely believed that he could project himself across vast distances, that he could make himself invisible and see deep into the future and past.' One night, shortly after his disappearance, three elders each had the same dream in which the ancestral Dreamtime figure Marumateye took Spider back to the spirit world. It later transpired that a law or Dreamtime painting he had made was the catalyst for Marumateye's visit.' While the artist's body has never been found, no doubt an autopsy by a Western trained doctor would provide a very different diagnosis in which space and time are more Euclidean and homogenous.