Perth-based artist Abdul Abdullah, born to parents of mixed backgrounds – Australian and Malaysian-Muslim – describes himself as an ‘outsider among outsiders’. This position grants him a unique perspective on Australian culture and what it means to be a Young Australian Muslim. Abdullah extrapolates this outlook to an examination of universal aspects of human nature, coming from a standpoint of deep understanding and empathy.
His practice is primarily concerned with painting but, increasingly, now incorporates an interdisciplinary approach of photo-media. His portraits reveal an intimate connection with his subjects and display his flair for bold statements, teasing out the conflicts of mixed race with tenderness and poignancy. In a practice that continues to evolve across new subjects and mediums, Abdullah remains committed to exploring the beauty, the complexity and the challenges of identity, defying those who rob humanity of its riches through one-dimensional labels.
Sometimes we cover our ears so we don’t hear, 2013, oil and enamel on canvas, 120 x 120cm
Courtesy the artist and Fehily Contemporary