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Making sense of the world we live in with interdisciplinary artists Nell and Abdul-Rahman Abdullah

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Mick Pacholli
Mick Pachollihttps://tagg.com.au
Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his father's publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry.        

Linden New Art 18 March – 4 June 2023

Linden New Art is proud to announce two new exhibitions that will be coming to the gallery from 18 March – 4 June by renowned artists Nell and Abdul-Rahman Abdullah.

Sydney-based artist, Nell, will be presenting three works as part of her exhibition, Old New Wave. Two of these works will be having their Melbourne debut, including a large-scale installation comprising of a life-size female bronze figure walking amongst 33 individual hand-blown glass ghost sculptures (top image). The exhibition will also include one new work that will be debuting at Linden, a large-scale installation of a metal tree growing out of the floor of the gallery.

Nell’s artistic practice is multifaceted and interdisciplinary, spanning across painting, sculpture, performance, installation, video, wearables, collaborations, community projects and public art. Underpinning all her work is an exploration of the thresholds of binary opposites such as the ancient and contemporary, individual and communal, feminine and masculine, and sacred and profane. From an Australian vantage point, she uses the language of art history, popular music and spiritual traditions to amplify the tensions and differences between these binary positions to create new objects and rituals.

“In creating the exhibition Old New Wave, I was looking at the boundary between what is considered “old” and “new.” Although these two concepts are typically seen as opposites, there’s a grey area between them and this is where the exhibition is situated.

Taking inspiration from the late 70s and early 80s music scene in St Kilda, the exhibition pays homage to the various venues and bands that flourished at that time, as well as the waves at the adjacent beach, and the comings and goings of Linden’s residents. All culminating in an interplay between past and present.”

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah will be presenting a suite of three works titled Journeys, reflecting on passages of life complicated by the intersections of mythology, lived culture and the natural world. The exhibition will include two existing installations that will be having their Melbourne debut and a new work titled, I am your treasure (bottom image). Framed by his Islamic faith, Abdul-Rahman’s exhibition aims to give informed clarity to make sense of the world that consist of contested nature and the stereotypes of that in modern-day Australia.

Made of stained wood, Mabe pearl and lighting, this new work shows a big, black snake coiled beneath a low hung chandelier.

“It has been said that any unpaid charity will appear on the day of judgement as a large snake that declares ‘I am your treasure’. To ignore the obligation to the generosity invites shadow into the light, accruing indifference in monstrous form. This snake embodies guilt as an intractable weight of absence, reminding us to give freely and walk lightly” explains artist Abdul- Rahman.

Abdul- Rahman Abdullah works primarily in sculpture and installation, explore the intersections of identity, culture and the natural world. Abdul-Rahman lives on Wadjuk Nyungar country in the Peel region of Western Australia. Living and working in this rural environment, his practice offers an alternative perspective across disparate communities.

Old New Wave and Journeys both engage in the historical practice and spiritual traditions to inform their subject matter and the conceptual ideas that underpin their practice.

Linden’s CEO and Director, Vincent Alessi, says; “It is exciting to be presenting the work of these two acclaimed artists side by side. While these are two solo exhibitions, audience will have the opportunity to engage with intersecting concerns across each. Both Nell and Abdul-Rahman Abdullah challenge our thing on ideas of identity, story-telling and how we might make sense of the complex world in which we live.

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