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A Brief Bio

Born in the foothills of the Dandenong Range, second child of four, I was lucky to be raised in semi-rural peace and prosperity. Horticulturalists and orchardists were the early settlers. We never went without and managed on father’s modest income as an engineer with the State Electricity Commission. I benefitted from good quality public schooling and a secondary teaching bursary that led to several years teaching high school art in the Mallee. The work was secure; I loved the climate, prospered at football and made several long-term friends.

Returning to Melbourne I was soon invited to join a small experimental school in Camberwell that relocated to Prahran then St Kilda. 1979-80 was spent in the Shenandoah Valley studying various lines of inner discipline on a New Age community farm in West Virginia. Committing to these disciplines was life changing, presenting cultural practices I’d read about but never activated. I came home through Turkey and Iran from where many of the teachings derived.

After the dynamics of the course resettling in Melbourne was a challenge. Within a year I was driving to the far west then inland from Port Hedland where a mate from high school days was printing bi-lingual material for a small indigenous school. The community endured unprecedented scant circumstances. Was I witness to some form of stoicism? Did they accept their lack of basic services and shelter? Far from it. My mate told me the unity of the community could be traced to the 1940s when they staged a walk off in protest of the mistreatment they’d endured on Pilbra cattle stations. The literacy program was an expression of their continuing resolve to raise living standards. People went about their daily business with an ease that questioned all my assumptions about poverty and the good life. This encounter also was life changing.

I returned to Melbourne, packed my things and found a lecturing post in the arts in central Australia in the early 1980s. I had little idea of what was before me in the Territory other than the need to engage with its First Peoples. In Alice Springs town camps I saw circumstances similar to those in the Pilbra. A connection was made with Arrernte families and I’ve resided in Alice Springs since then lecturing in the arts until quitting Charles Darwin University in 2008.

The job facilitated the raising of our three children. When they’d left home I had time to devote to writing in addition to ongoing art practice. In both domains I sought to express my experience with the Arrernte families. No one was more surprised than me with the attention the paintings, memoirs and awards attracted. But the genuine fortune of my small life has been the companionship of friends old and new without whose continued support I would amount to very little.




  • 2014 One Thousand Cuts, Chief Ministers NT Book of the Year Award

  • 2013 Centralian Advocate Art Award, Winner

  • 2011 The Hard Light of Day The Prime Minister’s non-fiction award

  • 2011 The Hard Light of Day NT Book of the Year Award

  • 2011 Advocate Art Award, ‘Place’ Winner

  • 2011 Short-listed for NT Senior Citizen

  • 1998 Outback Art Award, Broken Hill

  • 1992 Professional Development Grant, Australia Council for the Arts

  • 1991 Painting and Residency Prize: National Student Art and Design Exhibition,
    Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne


  • 2019 Returning/Iyapirtneme, Alice Springs

  • 2017 Crossings/Iwerre-Atherre, Alice Springs

  • 2014 Auckland

  • 2014/12 Wordstorm NT

  • 2012 Melbourne & Byron Bay, Brisbane


  • 2019 Blue Moon Bay, self-published graphic novella

  • 2019 Crossing The Great Divide, Wild Dingo Press

  • 2018 Rod Moss Naked, The Dura no.13 pp. 52-61

  • 2017 Hard Light of Day, Skyhorse Publishing, New York

  • 2017 Revelations: From Alice Springs to Sicily, Arena Magazine no. 150 pp. 40-44

  • 2014 Le Monde La Vie, 20-21st Sept

  • 2013 One Thousand Cuts; Art and Life in Central Australia, UQP

  • 2012 Grand Construction, Arena Magazine, no.116 pp. 25-29

  • 2012 Terra Nullius, Vivianne Dalles (catalogue essay)

  • 2011 The Healing Trip, Meanjin Magazine

  • 2011 The Hard Light of Day; an Artist’s Memoir’ UQP

  • 2008 Big Country Small Histories, Imagine Alice pp. 16-20

  • 2007 Even As We Speak, Arena Mag no.87

  • 2005 Stumbling Into Dreamtime, Arena Magazine, No.79 Oct/Nov pp. 44-45


  • 2018 Rod Moss Naked, Barry Hill, The Dura no.13 pp.52 - 61

  • 2018 Reason & Lovelessness, Barry Hill, Monash Univesity Publishing

  • 2017 Extraterritorial Glitch: Anti-Telluric Spectrality and Hyperspatial Wandjina
    Astarte Rowe, Art+Australia Issue One

  • 2012 Hotsprings, Daena Murray, pp.248-252

  • 2011 A Place for Art, University of Wollongong Collection, Amanda Lawson, p.34

  • 2011 Visions of a Troubled Heart, Pat Kinsella, The Saturday Age, Lifestyle, p.20

  • 2011 Contemporary Art; World Currents, Terry Smith. p.212

  • 2011 Returning To The Core of Culture, Grady Harp, O&S Summer 2 Magazine pp.45-51

  • 2010 Tragedy & Mystery of life in the Red Centre writ large, Rosemary Sorensen,
    The Australian, May 21, p.17

  • 2010 Homesickness: Nationalism in Australian Visual Culture,Traudi Allen, pp. 179-180

  • 2006 The Sound of the Sky, Daena Murray, pp.185-194

  • 2005 Naked In Alice, Barry Hill, Arena Magazine no 75.pp.36-38 (Front & Rear Covers)

  • 2005 Crash Sites, Sylvia Kleinert, Artlink vol 25 no 2, pp.30-35

  • 2004 The Colour of Rupture, Robert Nelson, The Age, June 30

  • 2004 Rod Moss’s Royal Portraits Rex Butler, Australian Art Collector 28, pp.98-101

  • 2001 Once upon a Time in the Centre, Alison Lee, Eyeline, Summer Edition, p.44

  • 1999 Artist breaks New Ground, Kelly Chapman, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Georgia

  • 1998 Many Rivers To Cross, Stephanie Radock, Adelaide Review

  • 1996 Central Psyche, Kieran Finnane, Art in Australia Vol 34 pp.40-4

  • 1996 Peripheral Visions, Charles Green, p.130

  • 1995 Brush Power, John McDonald,Sydney Morning Herald, 21 Oct, Spectrum 15

  • 1994 Rethinking Regionalism, Terry Smith, Art in Australia,


  • 2023 Evidence of Scale; Drawings, Fireworks gallery, Brisbane

  • 2021 All My Fat Country, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs

  • 2019 Crossing The Great Divide, Firewoks Gallery, Brisbane

  • Crossing The Great Divide, Adam Knight Gallery, Nagambi
    Whiteman You Are Surrounded; retrospective 1989-2019, NCCA, Darwin

  • 2017 Mirrors, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane

  • 2016 The Origin of The New Poetics, Anna Pappas Gallery, Prahran

  • 2014 Whitegate; Where Art and Life Collide, Burrinja Gallery, Upwey

  • 2013 Anatomy Lesson; You.Me. Us, Anna Pappas Gallery, Prahran

  • 2012 Anatomy Lesson; You. Me, Us. Araluen Arts Centre

  • 2012 Mirror, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane

  • 2011 Enigma of the Whiteman, Anna Pappas Gallery, Prahran

  • 2010 The Hard Light of Day, South Australian Museum Gallery 
    The Enigma of the Whiteman, Peta Appleyard Gallery, Alice Springs

  • 2008 Intervention, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane

  • 2007 Even As We Speak, Uber Gallery, Melbourne

  • 2004 Big Country; Small Histories ARC1 @ Span Gallery, Flinders Lane Melbourne

  • 2000 Whitegate Mob, Kluge-Ruhe Foundation gallery, Charlottesville VA

  • 1999 Outback Art, Columbus State University Gallery, Columbus, Georgia,

  • 1996 Pushing Up River, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane

  • 1995 Territorial Bodies, Tin Sheds Gallery, Sydney

  • 1994 Rod Moss Paintings Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi Gallery, Melbourne

  • 1994 Rod Moss Paintings Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane

  • 1986 Hogarth Galleries, Sydney


  • 2023

  • 2017 Burnt Earth; A multi Media Journey, Delbridge Hall, Gippsland

  • 2016 Black & White Restive, Newcastle Art Gallery, For The Birds, Framed Gallery, Darwin2015 Redlands Art Award, Sydney 

  • Layered and Burnished, Nevada State University

  • Art of the Nomad, Chan Contemporary Art Space, Darwin

  • 2012 Togart Art Award, Darwin

  • 2006 The Sound Of The Sky, 200 years of non-indigenous visual response to the N.TMuseum & Art Gallery of the N.T

  • 2005 Seeing The Other, Kluge-Ruhe Foundation Gallery, Charlottesville VA

  • 2004 2004, Contemporary Australian ART, Ian Potter Centre, NGV Melbourne

  • 2003 People, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane

  • 1996 Wijay Na, 24 Hr Art Gallery, Darwin

  • 1996/97 Eyes on the Ball, Waverly City Gallery & touring (Curator Chris McAuliffe)

  • 1995 Territory Picture Show, MAGNT, Darwin (Curator Dawn Mendham)

  • 1994 Contemporary Territory (Curator Dawn Mendham)

  • 1994 Faces and Figures, Araluen Arts Centre (Curator Alison French)

  • 1990 Balance, Queensland Art Gallery (Curator Michael Eather)


  • Kluge Ruhe, Virginia, USA

  • Columbus University, Georgia

  • The Howard Black Collection Sydney University Union Building

  • Northern Territory Museum of Arts & Sciences, Darwin

  • Araluen Art Collection. Alice Springs

  • Artbank, Sydney

  • BHP Billinton, Melbourne

  • City Lending Library, Melbourne

  • State Library, Melbourne

  • Centrelink, Alice Springs

  • Charles Darwin University

  • Akeyulerre Healing Centre, Alice Springs

  • Q.L.D Art Gallery

  • Moree Plains Regional Art Gallery

  • Prospect Council Chambers, Adelaide

  • Parliament House, Canberra

  • Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery

  • Burrinja Art Gallery, Upwey, Victoria

  • Newcastle Art Gallery

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