We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Abdul Abdullah We didn't start the fire

oil on linen

198.5 x 163 cm

I read that Billy Joel wrote the song ‘We didn’t start the fire’ in 1989 after Julian Lennon had told him it was much more difficult growing up in the 1980s than the 1950s. While inherently a denial of accountability, it was also a history lesson, and a lesson we are still learning. We inherit the sins of those who came before us, and we continue to perpetuate them. While we fight amongst ourselves, the seas rise, the forests burn, and we continue to enact violence on the vulnerable.

Abdul Abdullah, 2020