BROTHERS IN ART ON BEING MUSLIM
ART THE thought-provoking art of Victoria Park-raised brothers Abdul-Rahman Abdullah and Abdul Abdullah is the first to be showcased in the Art Gallery of WA’s new series WA Focus.
Abdul-Rahman, now a Bicton resident, and Abdul, now based in Sydney, have both been making an impact on the local and national art scenes.
They often practise separately but bring their art pieces together for an annual collaborative exhibition. This year they are exploring themes of cultural identity, memory and narrative.
Seen together, the works in this free exhibition detail the impact of their nine-year age gap, as the pair had very different experiences growing up pre and post the events of 2001.
“Abdul-Rahman grew up before September 11: as a Muslim he felt at ease in his surroundings, happily part of a tolerant and welcoming multi-cultural community,” said AGWA Curator Robert Cook.
“In contrast Abdul grew up after the event and his experience was different: as a Muslim he felt like an “other”.
“Abdul-Rahman’s works are gentle, poetic evocations of a family life animated by the stories of the Qur'an and family lore. He evokes a magical world where there is always more than just what we see. His sculptures combine family and religious influences in delicate and moving ways.
“In distinction, art for Abdul is a vibrant outcry as he pushes the stereotypes that have contained him. His works in this exhibition express his personal feelings about how his name (“they fear my name”) and physicality have been read.
“Events such as September 11 can shift how people, totally unconnected, can feel about themselves and how the actions of one group can shape the daily living of people thousands of kilometres away.
“In doing so it demonstrates the way that the artists of this region are shaped by the world and respond to it, in creative and confronting ways.”
One day can change the world: WA brothers Abdul-Rahman Abdullah and Abdul Abdullah explore what it’s like to grow up before and after 9/11.