Together 1, 2020, Abdul Abdullah

The Abdullah Brothers Unite for a Rare Exhibition

Ngununggula, the Southern Highlands’ first regional art gallery, is putting on a (free) show that won’t come around again too soon. Or ever.

Brothers Abdul-Rahman Abdullah and Abdul Abdullah are some of the most exciting contemporary artists in the Australian arts scene, and while they get along better than you and your annoying-as-shit little brother, it’s super rare they show their works alongside one another. Until now.

The Dogs, 2017, Abdul-Rahman Abdullah

For their new exhibition, Land Abounds, the Abdullah brothers will each present a new large-scale commissioned artwork that they’ve created in response to the Southern Highlands’ landscape and our shared history, as well as presenting existing works that have never before been exhibited in NSW. ‘I think it’s really important that my brother and I share a platform,’ Abdul-Rahman said. ‘We overlap in so many different ways, and our work is like an ongoing conversation we’re having about the worlds we’re experiencing.’

Doomed, 2017, Tracey Moffatt

Seeing their pieces side by side is worth the regional trip alone, but as an added cherry on top of the cake, the exhibit will also include work from the iconic Tracey Moffatt, who the brothers cite as one of their biggest influences. Moffatt will feature in the show through four of her characteristic video installations, working in tandem with the Abdullah brothers’ pieces to comment on how culture is passed on through the timeless art of storytelling.

Love, 2003, Tracey Moffatt

Moffatt’s works Love, Doomed, Other and Revolution are stitched together using excerpts from iconic Hollywood films, telemovies and arthouse cinema to challenge the stereotypes in popular cinema, and reflect on how they’ve come to influence our cultural imagination as a whole.

Breach, 2019, Abdul Abdullah

On another wall, you’ll be able to see Abdul’s 10-metre-wide, multi-panel painting titled Legacy, capturing a bird’s-eye view of the landscape of Berrima which has been vandalised and overlaid with text to challenge Euro-centric historical perspectives. Lying on the floor in front of his brother’s painting is Abdul-Rahman’s Dead Horse; a life-size, wooden carving of the animal that has, throughout the ages, been a kind of trophy of privilege, and reflects on the violence of ownership.

Land Abounds will be on show free to the public at Ngununggula, Southern Highlands from 28 May – 24 July 2022. Don’t miss it. 

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