Abdul Abdullah describes himself as an ‘outsider amongst outsiders’. He sees that his identity as a Muslim with Malay/Indonesian and convict/settler Australian heritage positions him in a precarious space in political discourse, putting him at odds with popular definitions. His practice is primarily concerned with the experience of the ‘other’ and with the disjuncture between perception/projection of identity and the reality of lived experience.
Legacy assets, a five-panel 10m-long panoramic oil painting depicts the landscape near Berrima, NSW, and began as a critique of the historical role of colonial Australian landscape painters – ‘propagandists for a broader, violent colonial ambition’, in Abdullah’s words. The work further developed after researching the lives, memoirs, and diaries of celebrated post-war Australian artists.