2020 > Peripheries


Installation image

Yavuz Gallery Sydney is proud to present Peripheries, the initial iteration of two reciprocal exhibitions by brothers Abdul Abdullah and Abdul-Rahman Abdullah. The pair will show the counterpart in their home city of Perth, at Moore Contemporary in 2021.

Peripheries is the first exhibition in which the Abdullah brothers join forces to formally respond to each other’s work. These two complementary statements come together to form an incisive dialogue about our current local and global state of affairs, specifically the changing perceptions of centrality and the peripheral in the context of 2020. A global reinforcement of hard borders and legislated isolation has created a redacted experience of the world around us, defined by its limitations.

Abdul Abdullah’s new body of work is an explosion of references and styles on the canvas’ surface. His signature white lines are overlaid on realistically painted backgrounds – seascapes and cloudscapes – denoting movement between physical locations. In a time when travel is impossible for most, these memories of travel help us to reflect on what it means to move over these invisible borders and boundaries, acting as metaphors for our own person obstacles in life.

Reinterpreted through his white cartoon-like line, the imagery Abdul Abdullah uses comes from a variety of digital ephemera that he describes as “a visual archive of personal and cultural memory”. Within the series What’s mine is yours, his cartoon figures are engaged in acts of fighting – with all the violence of a children’s cartoon. This brand of familial wrestling feels fitting within this exhibition shared by the brothers.

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah’s wooden sculptures of wrapped and covered canvases punctuate the space, poetically anchoring the exhibition into the here and now. The surface of the wall mounted sculptures where content is redacted and forms are shrouded within their wooden forms, are dormant, lying in wait for the moment they will be unveiled. As we too are bound to our homes, these sculptures take comfort from their context of calm domesticity. For some, isolation has forced life to slow down, and shifted priorities to appreciate time spent at home with family.

Centred within the gallery space is a wooden sculpture of a goat, tethered to his chain. Based on Abdul-Rahman Abdullah’s pet goat Trevor, it must be noted that the goat is one of the oldest domesticated species of animal, used for their milk, meat and fur. Trevor’s comfortable lifestyle comes at the cost of his freedom. Does he know (or even care) what is lacking, when he knows his next meal is coming at the Same time tomorrow? The limits of his world are clearly defined, yet he is safe, still, content.

As the final exhibition to Yavuz Gallery’s 2020 program, Peripheries presents significant work from two of our leading contemporary Australian artists and a rare opportunity to see their work side by side.

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah is presented in association with Moore Contemporary. This exhibition has been produced with the support of the WA Dept of Local Govt, Sports & Cultural Industries (DLGSC).