Born 1986, Perth, Australia
Lives and works in Melbourne, Australia
Abdul Abdullah's 'Coming to terms' series 2015 is a group of unusual wedding portraits taken in Malaysia, his mother's birth country, and inspired by an 1806 novel by Charlotte Dacre, Zofloya or The Moor, which alludes to historic xenophobia. Abdullah is a seventh-generation Australian; he identifies as Muslim and his work often uses his own body and personal experience as potent material to explore how Muslims are portrayed in contemporary Australian society and culture. The brides and grooms in these photographs are shown in their wedding attire against typical studio backdrops, but their features are masked by close-fitting balaclavas, contrasting the joyous occasion of a wedding and the dehumanising masks associated with criminality. Though political in context, Abdullah's works do not attempt to address any specifics of Islam or comment on particular individuals who practice it, but instead addresses the complex feelings of displacement and alienation associated with histories of diaspora and migration.