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Abdul Abdullah A terrible burden

oil on linen

180 x 240.5 cm

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