Abdul-Rahman Abdullah was born in Port Kembla (NSW) in 1977, he lives and works in Perth, Western Australia. Abdullah’s practice explores the different ways that memory can inhabit and emerge from familial space. Working primarily in sculpture and installation, he draws on passages of personal history, articulating formative experiences of individual identity within the broader scope of family. Expanding on the narrative capacity of animal archetypes, crafted objects and the human presence, his work is intended to create a physical dialogue between the natural world, politics and the agency of culture. While his own experiences as a Muslim Australian of mixed cultural heritage provide a starting point, Abdullah negotiates shared understandings of individual identity, new mythologies and marginalised social outlooks in a multicultural context.
Attending the Victorian College of the Arts in 2010 followed by Curtin University in 2011-12, Abdul-Rahman Abdullah graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2012. He has been a finalist in numerous art prizes including the Blake Prize (2013/15), Wynne Prize (2015), Churchie Prize for Emerging Artists (2015/17), Substation Prize (2014), Woollhara Small Sculpture Prize (2017) and Bankwest Art Prize (2014/16), he was the West Australian recipient of the Qantas Foundation Encouragement of Australian Contemporary Art Award (2013), won the Credit Suisse/Art & Australia Art Award in 2014, Fishers Ghost Sculpture Prize (2014), Leonora Sculpture Prize (2015), received the Multicultural Recognition Award for the Visual Arts alomngside his brother Abdul Abdullah (2016) and the Pro Hart Outback Art Prize (2017). Abdullah has received numerous grants from the Department of Culture and the Arts and the Australia Council for the Arts. Recent exhibitions include Dark Horizons, Pataka Museum + Art, NZ (2017); Another day in paradise, Campbelltown Art Centre, NSW (2017); The fraud Complex, West Space, VIC (2016); Magic Object – The Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, SA (2016); WA Focus – Abdul Abdullah & Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Art Gallery of Western Australia, WA (2015); Epic Narratives, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, WA (2015) and Menagerie, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, VIC (2014).
Abdullah’s work is held in the collections of Artbank, Islamic Museum of Australia, Campbelltown Art Centre, Murdoch University, University of Western Australia, Wesfarmers, Art Gallery of South Australia, City of Broken Hill and Art Gallery of Western Australia.
Abdul-Rahman Abdullah is a current board member for the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art.
Image credit: Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Merantau (2016)