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Available Artworks

Ian Abdulla

Looking for Bottles - 2003

synthetic polymer paint on canvas
152.0 x 90.5 cm
EST. $5,000 - $7,000

MP #340


Purchased Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, SA, 1993
Private Collection, NSW


Tandanya Aboriginal Cultural Centre, SA, 1993
Tyerabarrbowaryaou 2, I shall never become a whiteman, 5th Havana Biennial, Cuba, & Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 1994
Alie[N]ation - A survey of Australian Aboriginal Urban Art, Cooee Art, NSW, 2018


Tyerabarrbowaryaou 2, I Shall Never Become a Whiteman, Exhib. Cat., Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 1994.

Ngarrindjeri artist Ian Abdulla lived all his life at Cobdolga, an early irrigation settlement in the Riverland region of South Australia. The township is located beside the Murray River. He began painting in the late eighties relating the simple narrative stories that recorded his recollections of times and deeds that illuminated the life of the local Aboriginal people living in rural poverty. Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, his childhood memories, though simply told, are far from simple and, importantly, are deeply grounded in historical context. It is a perspective that is at once personal and political, though gently so.


The text on this artwork reads:


Sometimes when things would get hard in the early days and getting low, some of us boys would go out and look for some cool drink bottles between Cobdolga and Kingston on the Murray River in the River Land to sell for the money.