ABC News interviews the Abdullah brothers, exploring Australian Muslim identities and colonialism

28 Jun 2022

Brothers Abdul-Rahman Abdullah and Abdul Abdullah were recounting their experiences with ABC News concerning the adversities faced in a marginalized Muslim community.

Abdul Abdullah mentions, “My experience — the way that I looked at it and framed it — was of that political perception; very much outside the home, and [in terms of] how we [Muslims] were dealt with in the popular imagination.”

But through his artistic career, Abdul has found an outlet to process his experiences, hoping his works might serve someone else in that way. He adds, “I’m not trying to claim their experience, but I want to speak to my own experiences that are hopefully relatable enough.”

In the ongoing exhibition Land Abounds, Abdul Abdullah delves into the history of Australia’s 19th- and 20th-century landscape painters with a landscape painting titled Legacy Assets (2022). Departing from their historical perspectives, he began looking more at modernist post-war artists, reading their memoirs, biographies, and diaries.

“A lot of the motivation has come from a particularly colonial perspective and the language of ownership, the language of possession: ‘conquering the landscape’, ‘breaking frontiers’ and that sort of thing.” Abdullah continues, “I also want to remind people that these are public collections; we are the public and they are our collections.”

Land Abounds is currently presented at Ngungunggula, Southern Highlands Regional Gallery until 24 July 2022.

Image: Installation view of Abdul Abdullah, 2020, Together 2, manual embroidery made with the assistance of DGTMB Studios, 156 x 143 cm | Photo by: Zan Wimberley