Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information, including hours

Help us improve our prizes database. Contact us if you have more information.

Abdul Abdullah

Title
A terrible burden
Medium
oil on linen
Dimensions
180 x 240.5 cm
Further information

The history of Australian landscape painting has been cloaked in the language of colonialism: frontiers, exploration and discovery – the language of ownership. The rhetoric regarding taming, conquering and capturing the Australian landscape reflects a desire to possess it. ‘Frontiers have always been broken’ is a quote from one self-identifying Australian landscape painter referring to the practice of another. The phrase written across the painting quotes the latter painter when asked to discuss his status as Australia’s greatest living artist. Like the settlers before them the moral obligation to claim the Australian landscape is the cross they feel the need to bear.

Abdul Abdullah, 2019