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'Maghrib': Solo Exhibition by Abdul-Rahman Abdullah at Venn Gallery

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by Carolyn Hopping (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
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A mystical journey of self discovery
Born in 1977 at Port Kembla, New South Wales, Abdul-Rahman Abdullah is one of Perth's most dynamic and innovative young artists, and since his graduation from Curtin University his career has been progressing from strength to strength. The son of a sixth-generation Australian and a Malaysian Muslim, his works sensitively examine his rich cultural heritage as well as broader aspects of the human condition.

Ghost Trap. This image is from Abdul-Rahman Abdullah's website.
Ghost Trap. This image is from Abdul-Rahman Abdullah's website.

Abdullah's latest solo exhibition, Maghrib is currently showing at the Venn Gallery until August 16th. Consisting of new sculptural and installation works, the exhibition is a personal meditation (Maghrib, meaning prayer) on the 'subjective architecture of memory': the way in which our sense of identity is cultivated through our history, both personal and collective. It's a deep and profound subject-matter, but one that Abdullah expresses poignantly in the exhibition, with his works not only representing his own personal story, but also emotions and experiences which we all, as human beings, can relate to.

Watching, Waiting II. This image is from Abdul-Rahman Abdullah's website.
Watching, Waiting II. This image is from Abdul-Rahman Abdullah's website.

Abdullah's refined technical skill, as demonstrated in Maghrib, is impressive and his works portray the exquisitely sculptured forms of humans, animals and miscellaneous domestic items which relate to his own childhood and consequently his sense of self. In addition to the cast resin, timber and acrylic with which he has worked, Abdullah has also incorporated found vintage items into his works, thus underlining the complex, tapestry-like nature of the mind, memory and consciousness. This meditative journey into the artist's past takes on an almost ethereal, dream-like quality as elements of his Islamic Malay and suburban Australian backgrounds weave together to shape his childhood story, and subsequently, his sense of personal identity. This surreal ambiance is further heightened by the primarily white and pale colours which have been used.

As explained on the Venn Gallery website: Abdullah 'presents the viewer with a body of work that negotiates a domestic landscape of overlaid cultural narratives and seeks to reconcile the household hegemony of Islamic ideology with the permeation of Malay animism within a suburban Australian environment.'

In a nutshell, this exhibition is absolutely awesome, so you really have to see it. Abhul-Rahman Abdullah is one of Western Australia's most talented emerging artists and this exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to show your support for him and have a good look at his latest work. Maghrib will be showing at the Venn Gallery until Friday, August 16th. The gallery is open from Wednesday until Sunday, 11am - 5pm, or by appointment. All works are for sale. For more information, go to the Venn Gallery website, email them at or give them a call on 08 9321 8366.
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Why? To check out the latest works by this talented artist.
When: Wednesday - Sunday, 11am - 5pm or by appointment.
Phone: 08 9321 8366
Where: Venn Gallery, 16 Queen Street, Perth, 6000
Cost: Free
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