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Visual Arts | Representing the breadth of Western Australian stories

"That really local focus does prove what we have available to us here in WA and in Perth." 

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah

One of the oldest existing, most widely recognised and enjoyed forms of art and culture is visual art. Encompassing a multitude of disciplines and spanning a wide-range of materials, forms, and spatial arrangements, we are fortunate to have a unique culture of active emerging, mid-career, and established visual artists creating work throughout the state of Western Australia.

A fitting example of a sought after mid-career Western Australian artist is sculptor and installation artist Abdul-Rahman Abdullah whose solo exhibition Everything is True is showing at John Curtin Gallery as part of the 2021 Perth Festival Visual Arts program. ⁠Living and working in rural Western Australia, Abdullah provides unique, intersectional perspectives, focusing on shared understandings of individual identity and new mythologies within our Australian landscape.

The exhibition comprises the largest solo show for the artist to date and contains numerous artworks fabricated over the time since he finished studying fine art at Curtin in 2012. The profoundly detailed sculptural works are often figurative – evoking familiar animals and motifs – while exploring elements of cultural identity, family connection, and the natural world.⁠

📸 Abdul-Rahman Abdullah and Chris Malcolm installing 'Among Monsters' 2017. Everything Is True, John Curtin Gallery, 2021. Photographer: Brad Coleman.

"As a studio-based artist, you end up creating your own visual language and that's the language you want to speak 'til the day you die, I guess. Hopefully to bigger audiences all the time." - Abdullah

Hearing the artist discuss the works in the Everything is True exhibition is striking, in part due to the recognition of how unusual it is to have the opportunity to hold such a large show in a familiar or hometown setting. In a video interview, the artist cites the pandemic as a motivation for showcasing local stories in the festival. This aspect is a unique one for many practising visual artists.

It is the breadth of talent and diversity in visual arts practitioners, like Abdullah, that is astounding to find throughout our entire state. From remote Aboriginal arts centres to outer metro sculpture studios, we are fortunate to have such talented home-grown artists creating exquisite works that share the range of Western Australian stories.

Make sure to see Everything is True at John Curtin Gallery before the show closes 23 April.

To learn more about this globally successful Western Australian visual artist:

⁠Abdul-Rahman Abdullah website

John Curtin Gallery


The Chamber of Arts and Culture WA acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Western Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities.

We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders both past and present.