When storm clouds stir on the distant horizon, they bring with them a foreboding sense of urgency. Advanced as our forecasting technologies are today, we still never truly know how the wind, rain and incoming tides will affect us. This sense of anxiety is emblematic of the twenty-first century human experience. Fear of the unknown future looms heavy in our minds, and for those people who are already feeling the global effects of war and environmental disaster, the storm is no longer a distant possibility.
Dark Horizons is a suite of three interconnected solo exhibitions exploring this state of global anxiety through the lens of Muslim migrant communities in Australia. The artists in the exhibition are Malaysian and Anglo-Australian brothers Abdul Abdullah and Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, and leading Lebanese-Australian moving image artist Khaled Sabsabi.
Each artist presents an individual contemplation on issues relating to migration and multiculturalism in Western colonial nations such as Australia and New Zealand. These concerns are explored through a range of media including film, sculpture, photography, embroidery and painting. Through a process of personal introspection, the artists shed light on our own complicity in contributing to the economic, environmental and political conditions afflicting our international neighbours.
While the title of the exhibition urges us to prepare for dark clouds looming overhead, the chandeliers presented here by Abdul-Rahman Abdullah remind us that there is still hope for the future. Yet this optimism for light and pleasantries must be tempered with a cautious mindfulness. In this sense, both fear and hope are useful incentives. Harnessed in unison, they urge us to action, to make the best plans for an uncertain future.
Image: Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, The Dogs, 2017 (detail)
Toured by Pataka Art+Museum
Sponsored by ANZ
2 June – 19 August 2018
Exhibition opening: Saturday 2 June, 4pm
Artist talks: Saturday 2 June, 3pm