Abdul Abdullah

the lies we tell ourselves to make us sleep

Purchased from Lisa Fehily Consulting August 2017

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“If it doesn’t have the potential to offend or to challenge people then I think I’m not doing it right. Even if their assumptions are correct I want them to consider them and think about how they see the world and how they make other people feel.” Abdul Abdullah


Simultaneously confronting yet poignantly tender and intimate “The lies we tell ourselves to help us sleep” demands that we examine the notion of belonging and marginalisation.


His multi disciplinary practice allows Abdullah to select the medium best suited to his purpose; film ,painting ,tapestry, performance or photography. In this piece the stage is set and the spotlight falls dramatically on the figure of Abdullah holding the monkey. Masked as an ape with an original tester mask from Tim Burton’s 2001 “ Planet of the Apes” and holding a macaque monkey from close to his Mothers Indonesian village of birth, where the photograph was taken, the image is profound, piercing and very beautiful.


Abdul Abdulla first came to the attention of the group, in his early twenties, when first listed ( three other entries have followed) as a 2011 Archibald Prize finalist for his portrait of Waleed Aly. We have since watched and admired the power of his practice. We were fortunate enough to acquire this work from Lisa Fehily.