Season Three – Abdul-Rahman Abdullah

Image credit: Bo Wong

Abdul-Rahman Abdullah

Season 3 – Episode 6


academy of taxidermy

Instagram handle @abdul_rahman_abdullah


00:00:00 Kiera Brew Kurec
Hi, I’m Kiera Brew Kurec

00:00:01 Nick Breedon
and I’m Nick Breeden.

00:00:03 Kiera Brew Kurec
Welcome to Pro Prac

00:00:04 Nick Breedon
where we explore the professional practice of artists

00:00:07 Kiera Brew Kurec
and hear their stories.

00:00:09 Nick Breedon
Abdul-Rahman Abdullah is an artist living and working on Wadjuk Nyungar country, in the Peel region of Western Australia. working primarily in sculpture and installation, he explores the intersections of identity, culture, and the natural world. Abdul-Rahman lives on a multi-generational cattle farm with his wife, fellow artist, Anna Louise Richardson, and their three children, Aziza, Althea, and Akil, living and working in a rural environment. His practice offers an alternative perspective across disparate communities. Since graduating from Curtin University in 2012, Abdul Reman has exhibited widely around Australia. Including WA Focus, Adelaide Biennial, the National, and Tarawarra Biennial. His work is held in public, corporate, university and private collections. In recent years, he has been active as a board member for PICA Arts advisor for City of Perth, state national and regional peer assessor and set designer for Marageku. He’s currently undertaking a fellowship with regional arts Western Australia. Abdul-Rahman is commercially represented by more contemporary in Perth

00:01:15 Kiera Brew Kurec
Abdul-Rahman, Thank you so much for joining us on the podcast today. We’re really, really happy to have you on the show.

00:01:27 Abdul-Rahman
Ah, thank you very much. Thanks for having me.

00:01:29 Kiera Brew Kurec
We want to begin by asking you how did you get to where you are today and some background on your practice.

00:01:36 Abdul-Rahman
That’s such a big question, isn’t it? Oh, it’s also a very small question ’cause there’s always answers to big things. Let’s see. I live here on Wadjuk Nyungar country, just south of Boolaroo Perth in WA. I actually live on a farm. My wife Anna Louise Richardson’s family farm, she’s also an artist. So it’s family farm we live on, 45 years old. We got three kids. Aziza five, Althea three, Akil one and a half, and us. How did I get there? I feel like I just landed on my feet at some point in my life. I’m very, very, very happy. I’m a very happy person. I’m very happy with the life I lead and generally a pretty happy guy. But it’d all began on the day Elvis died. 1977.

00:02:19 Kiera Brew Kurec
Oh really?

00:02:21 Abdul-Rahman
Yeah. Apparently. There was not room on this planet for the two of us. After he choked on his own, vomit on the toilet. Apparently that’s how he died. I was born in the, in the, uh, foyer of Port Kembla District Hospital in, uh, sunny Port Kembla, just south of Sydney in New South Wales. That’s my, uh, my backstory, but then I moved to

00:02:45 Nick Breedon
Baby Elvis.

00:02:47 Abdul-Rahman
Yeah. I was not baby Elvis. This is where I’m making a distinction. There was no room for the two of us. And all the nurses were in tears and, and, uh, yeah, I was very disappointed to find out that they were not tears for me. They were not tears of joy. But yeah, my family moved over to Perth, before the year was out by I think so by the end of 1977, we over here. So I think i get to call this my home town. Uh, I don’t really have any recollection of living anywhere else. Uh, grew up in Perth, took a windy, windy track to actually becoming an artist. I’ve only been an artist since I graduated in 2012, so this is my 11th year of pro prac. So yes, I would count that 11 years as an artist.

00:03:32 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yeah. What were you, do you mind letting us know what you did, on your way in between?

00:03:38 Abdul-Rahman
Yeah. There was no time in jail. Nothing salacious. No real wilderness years. No, I’m, but yeah, my path to becoming an artist was a long and windy one, but it was always there from when I was a kid. I only ever wanted to be, at the time when I was a kid, I wanted to be a cartoonist because that’s all I knew of the most obvious way I could see of doing, uh, something creative for a livings. I didn’t know what art was for a long time. And I was always the drawing kid. We always drew, my whole family were into drawing. no tv. We like a drawing was our tv, it was our entertainment drawing and reading. Little bunch in there. Little bunch. Grew up very much. You know, Muslim family, Muslim care in a tiny little, uh, very mixed and matched Muslim community here in Perth. Dad’s, uh, white Australian mums, Malay. So I’m a mix. And that, that all, all of that stuff is very much contributed to who I am. I think it’ll feel like I get to pick and choose, so I do a lot. Code switch, pick and choose. Jump between the two. Yeah. Yeah, it took me quite a long time to be an artist, so they, it was always there and I always, what I, where I intended to end up once I knew what that was, I guess. If that makes sense.

00:04:48 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yeah, totally.

00:04:49 Abdul-Rahman
Went to an art program in high school, went to Applecross High School here in Perth. Grew up in Vic Park, which was not near Applecross. Was one of the art kids, you know, a bunch of kids who went to, we did Saturday mornings art all through high schools. That was the nineties. 1990 to 94. Because I’m somewhat vulnerable now. Yeah. But it took me quite a long time to, before I actually became an artist and, you know, went to four or five different art schools, uh, over the nineties and then took a very large gap before going back to, uh, in 2010, going to VCA actually for a year. Moved over to Melbourne, started in first year, had a great time at VCA, got pretty sick in Melbourne. Me and my brother moved home again. So I finished off uni at Curtain where I bravely spent two years in a row in the same institute for the first time.

00:05:37 Nick Breedon
Oh, good for you.

00:05:39 Abdul-Rahman
Yeah. Yeah. Five different Art Schools. And in between that I had a lot of, you know, from the nineties and the oos, a lot of shitty jobs. But I ended up doing a bit of graphic design, I think, around the turn of the century. Oh, it sounds antiquated, but that’s what it was. It was the Y2K era. Became an illustrator,

00:05:58 Kiera Brew Kurec
was there a thing when you were like, okay, this time, this is the time I’m going to, like, I’m gonna finish the degree and this is what I’m going do

00:06:07 Abdul-Rahman
yeah. The last time. 2010. Yeah.

00:06:08 Kiera Brew Kurec
And like, what, what was, was there like a thinking behind that? Did you know that this was gonna be it?

00:06:16 Abdul-Rahman
Oh yeah. Well, when, you know, as a teenage or early twenties, you know, what’s a year here? What’s a year there? We all smoked and threw time away, like we had as much of it’s ever gonna be. Yeah, it was. We, the word foresight didn’t really enter my vocabulary Yeah. Until I was, I guess in my thirties. Yeah. Very long, drawn out, lingering youth. No. Yeah. It wasn’t until I went there really as a mature age student and I had not a plan, but I knew that this was, you know, the foundation of something very different. A big, a big change in direction in my life. I’ve been working in, in very creative fields in the industries. I was an illustrator, then I became into, model making. So I tend, you know, I became, I used to do as trying to work as an illustrator here in per is pretty tricky. We don’t have a lot of industries that support that funnily enough, I sent out so many, uh, CVS and portfolios, but that Abdul-Rahman Abdullah name planted across the front probably didn’t help at the time. Only in hindsight I went, oh. But I ended up going to model making and became a commercial sculptor for quite a few years leading up to going back to art school. And so, and that was, you know, that was pre 3d printing there. So it was all hand skills and hand making and really building, you know, doing advertising, props, any sort of props, any sort of film, TV stuff, which Perth did cough up. But in the end we specialized in, uh, zoo design and so I would be designing zoo enclosures, animal enclosures, and then we’d build them and then we’d do a lot of animal sculpture there. Interactive, lots of, uh, audience engagement stuff for Perth Zoo which was heaps of fun.

00:08:05 Kiera Brew Kurec
So, when you were studying, were you studying sculpture or were you doing drawing?

00:08:13 Abdul-Rahman
Well, by the time I sort of 2010 knocked around, I should just take one step back and go. What really made me decide to actually go, it’s time to go back to art school to do the best degree I never finished as I always thought. What was my brother, Abdul Abdullah. He went through and we were living together while he went through art school, which was lots of fun because me and my older brother had also been to various art schools. So he kind of was always an expectation. I said, I guess on his part just to go through. But when he popped out and he sort of, You know, very early on his career started sort of ticking along. He, then I was like, you know, this is great. It’s time for me to go back. And I was in my early thirties with no real ties, so I was went, this is actually, you know, I’ll see this as a, as, you know, it’s a, a privilege at a certain age to be able to just drop everything and go do it. This is my opportunity, so I better jump on that. While, again, while I had nothing else, to tie me down. So we went over to, yeah, moved to Melbourne and yeah, went straight into the sculpture at VCA, which, yeah, it’s lots of fun. Art schools are all much more, much more the same than different. But VCA was good. They chucked you in the deep end from like the, you know, as soon as you walked in the door, which was, which was good fun. I think I was ready for that by then. Yeah.

00:09:30 Nick Breedon
I think like VCA around that time, had this reputation as very, especially like sculpture and spatial practice that was around the time that it, it changed from, you know, just sculpture to sculpture and spatial practice. And I think there was this kind of focus on a very, conceptual understanding of, uh, sculpture as this sort of expanded field. And I think, you know, anyone who knows your work might, see that, that, that isn’t particularly congruent. You know, your work can be quite figurative.

00:09:59 Abdul-Rahman
Oh yeah.

00:09:59 Nick Breedon
Did you, did you find that there was a, a bit of a, a conflict there with the, how, how,

00:10:04 Abdul-Rahman
not a conflict, but a hundred percent. Yeah. Oh yes. The the big, and I love, my best thing I loved about VCA was like anything in anywhere in life itself. It’s the people and it’s the lectures. I had time, I had, I had Simone Slee and I had Bianca Hester.

00:10:21 Nick Breedon
Shout out. Shout out. Bianca

00:10:23 Abdul-Rahman
Bianca was my favourite lecturer. Well, I mean, people, people, obviously people know Bianca. She’s a gun and Yeah, that was actually,

00:10:30 Nick Breedon
she’s my supervisor now doing masters.

00:10:32 Abdul-Rahman
There you go. Yeah. Oh yeah. Bianca is a brain. The best thing about Bianca is just the sheer pace she was set and the, like, the joy of it all. She would just like, sort of be leading a charge every time we were a bunch of first years. And I just love that. I like this is this, is this what you want from the school? You just want someone to set a pace and go, let’s go. And I, I really enjoyed that. Yeah, but it, I mean it’s art school. It’s like the, you know, it’s, it’s the, it’s, not even the first chapter. It’s the intro. So. A lot of the emphasis there was about, you know, truth to materials and like, you know, these different approaches to, to, to sculpture, spatial practice and I was quite aware the whole time that I want my materials to lie, lie, lie, lie that’s what I wanted them to do and that’s fine. I was also, I’ve done plenty of art school, so it was, and going from, you know, crazy 80 hour work weeks into art school is such a delight. Fun. Yeah.

00:11:33 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yeah, totally. So from art school, where to from there? What happened next?

00:11:40 Abdul-Rahman
Well, I had my, while I was at art school, one year of VCA, then I decided to, so, uh, I, I did first year at Curtin 1996 and then wandered in the door for second year in 2011. So I, I get the record for longest smoko. It’s a 14 year smoko. Hey, hey guys. And there also quite a few of the same people there. You know, some people, they never leave an institution they just get older in that institution. It happens. Yeah, so I went back, came back to Perth, went to Curtin we had a great time there too, I guess, my, my big plan of going through art school as a mature age as well was to try and hit the ground running as fast as I could and sort of was really planning how I would. How I can work function as an artist. As, as soon as I left I was sort of lining up shows and things like that and going for the, educating my, as myself as much as I could outside of what they, teach you in italics. So yeah, my big goal was to become a full-time artist as soon as I could. Because I was aware that time was not necessarily on my side. I was 30, 34 I guess. Uh, but you can’t go backwards and like, there’s a lot to be said for like going, going into these things that with more life under your belt, it also helps not growing up as an artist in a public, sort of, not in the public eye, but in a public way where mm-hmm. You find your feet so visibly I kind of popped out, not fully formed, but I’d had sort of a big visual language. A lot of like hand skills and things like that. Already quite honed before I became an artist. Just in different fields.

00:13:27 Nick Breedon
Mm-hmm. Kiera and I have actually talked a lot about that because we were the, you know, very much the opposite. We both went, to VCA like immediately after, high school in Kiera’s case. And I was, you know, just a year behind. And it is, it, it was almost like, a sort of, you know, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen situation where like, you’re, you’re literally embarrassing yourself constantly just doing young people’s stuff very visibly in front of the entire art community. You know, like I I, I cringe at some of the things that people would’ve seen, me

00:14:01 Kiera Brew Kurec
and the public, and you’re putting it in an exhibition and it, it’s pretty

00:14:05 Abdul-Rahman
yeah. But there is, when people have youth on their side, it, it is really, I like, even as a mature , I mean I’m, this is 10 years plus like that, that’s all context. It’s all part of it. And even at the time, I would apply a different metric to people who were older. You know, people who had I either a, should no better or have my life under their belt to not be so fucking boring and things like that. Whereas, you know, and so youth is so present and if there was a mature, a mature age student, it’s, you need and want to be around young people. You just, it’s just like, that’s part of why it was so fun because like, you know,

00:14:45 Nick Breedon
but we’re not young anymore though. And you know, the amount of people that saw me, you know, Probably throw up out the front of an art gallery, you know, as a 24 year old and, and now I’m trying to get them to take me seriously when I’m pitching a show.

00:15:00 Abdul-Rahman
Yeah. Gimme money.

00:15:01 Nick Breedon
Yeah. Yep. Please forget everything you remember about me from the past.

00:15:07 Abdul-Rahman
Well, I guess all, all, all of that, I, you know, I did all of that outside of art and pre, pre-social media mostly. So I’m happy that nothing like that really exists in any archival way for me.

00:15:20 Nick Breedon
Lucky You

00:15:21 Abdul-Rahman
Which is like, it’s important. Yeah. No, but I really saw the value and also saw the, a kind of an obligation to myself to, if I’m going into this at this age, then, then, then this has to be, you know, I have to treat, take it seriously and treat it, give it the time and treat it the way it needs to be to get myself going, you know, because it’s so bloody hard to find a career in art anyway, so, yeah. And you’ve become much more aware that you are paying for this.

00:15:46 Kiera Brew Kurec

00:15:46 Abdul-Rahman
You’re paying for this education. Education in italics.

00:15:52 Kiera Brew Kurec
What was the process for you, after graduating? Because you do have a sculpture practice and I think, for a lot of people that have practice that requires space, those kind of years out of uni when you have been, you know, fortunate enough to use the university space to make things. What did that look like? Did you have a process of having to set up a studio or use other people’s spaces or what, how were those years for you?

00:16:21 Abdul-Rahman
I never used the uni space anyway. You can’t make sculpture and space like that. And I’ve been making for quite a few years and working for myself, the freelance and contract and all that sorts of things. So, and I had a space set up at home. And I just, I, that’s one, one thing I loved about, and especially back here in, Perth, where the, the contact hours were lot less than VCA so, but I would go to go to school clean and just hang out and then do all the work at home because I had my space set up at home.

00:16:46 Kiera Brew Kurec
Mm-hmm. So, did you have like a room or a shed or what was your situation

00:16:50 Abdul-Rahman
at that point at uni, I just had like the, a garage of the house I was in. You know, me and my brother were living in and just had that set up and that was enough for me then. But I was also very conscious of like, well before finishing uni, sort of in the third year, it was planning for that, planning for what happens the year out and where I’m gonna be working, and what shows on. So I had like, I got quite lucky with getting a commercial gallery, which is no longer here in Perth which offered me a show while I was in third year. They’d seen a little ARI show I did and, you know, sort of took a chance on, you know, offering me a commercial solo show, which was a big deal for anyone at any point. And so I had really had something to work to and I’d booked a couple of other things around similar time and the project with my brother and a project with some other people. I had a lot of goals, which I needed to tick coming out of uni immediately, so I needed to show in as like, outside of Perth. And yeah, show things like that. So also, you know, applied for some funding while I was at uni for when I would be out and sort of kind trying to get the jump on things like that. Which, well, which came through, which was really good. But I think I showed in Sydney and Melbourne in that first year out as well. So that was, that was very aware of the, all of those things working from Perth. And you know, what you gotta do to try and really have a serious go at building a profile, you gotta do all those things through the extra legwork.

00:18:14 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yeah. Maybe we’ll come to this in the next question, but you kind of just touched on it there. Do you think that, artists that are based in Western Australia have extra challenges to kind of be visible, to

00:18:27 Abdul-Rahman
Oh, shit. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That was, uh, I was looking, looking through your questions this morning and I was, I’m sure I wasn’t gonna be in this one. Yeah. It was gonna be in one of the, in the challenge questions. Yeah, that is, that is an on, and it’s, it’s a real thing to maintain. I mean, I’m not talking about internationally either. I mean that that will come when it’s, when it comes. But just to maintain a public profile around Australia, you just cannot function in Perth alone. It’s just, you can’t function in any one city alone, let alone one of the small ones. One of the peripherals, the good, the beauty about that is, uh, we never here in Perth and, you know, other places, we don’t ever assume where the centre of anything. So, you know, you are always looking out. Perth is a really good place to make work and be, you know, just the, you know, the, just the productive side of that. But for showing, you just have to have more than that. And you really have to put a lot of effort and resources and time and energy into doing that. It’s important, otherwise you’ll just won’t have that visibility. And that’s just the reality of not our industry, just the, you know, where the geography really where we live. A long way off.

00:19:34 Nick Breedon
Yeah. So kind of, Challenging dichotomy as an artist, right? That, you know, if you live somewhere that’s affordable, you are kind of not close enough to be, you know, in the thick of going to be, you know, having easy access to going to exhibitions all the time and things like that. But, you know, if you live right in the middle of the city, you probably can’t afford to make work.

00:19:55 Abdul-Rahman
Oh man, I see even, even artists working at, you know, what I would consider at very high levels, you know, very well known. They’re just the, uh, what they have to endure, give up, and how have to kind of. It, it’s such a, uh, a struggle just to get to the point where you have any space to make work in other cities. Mind you, I, I have empathy, but not, not sympathy as such because we all, we all choose this. You know, but it’s just, you have to factor these things in. There’s pros and cons to all of it. But I mean, also where I live and how I live and the way I live, I can’t have that anywhere else. So like, I’ll have the best of both worlds. And you know, what I love telling people is how much I enjoy, you know, it’s mainly Sydney and Melbourne, obviously the where I show, but I love leaving as much as I love arriving. It’s so good. t’s like, it’s own joy. Just say, well that was fun, but see you later. Yeah. I mean, I’m, I’m regional now. I like my space. My children couldn’t had to get their head around the concept of neighbours. what you talking, what do you mean?

00:21:01 Kiera Brew Kurec
That’s so great. Before we get into it, Of the challenges that you’ve had to overcome, could you run us through what those kind of steps were that you took to, you know, obviously said finding some funding, but I went like, but to kind of,

00:21:17 Abdul-Rahman
as I left uni?

00:21:18 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yes. Yeah.

00:21:19 Abdul-Rahman
Yes. I was just over 10 years ago now, I was pretty, uh, I was pretty focused and I had, you know, there have goals in mind, you know, where not just specifically where I wanted to show, but what sort of spread I wanted show how much and where you’re well aware of how you have to plan these things. You know, you’re working a year or two in advance of yourself. You just have to be like that. And. I guess for me too was like, you only need one opportunity at a time. And, but when you get that opportunity, just doing everything you can to give it as much as you can and be as generous as you can. Let nothing get in the way of that. Which this was pre-children, this was pre, had a lot more time. Approaching it like work, approaching it like a job as well. And a big part of that which was not, you know, I didn’t learn this at uni, you have to self-educate these things, but, you know, seeing what funding is available, seeing how you’re gonna pay for this, how you gonna get from A to B, how much you can ask for in a grant. You know, all these sorts of things. I also had a, I don’t know what you’d call it. There were so many grants and little opportunities that I managed to get the last one off. They took them away. So I was like, you know, there was art start, there was totally mentorship one, the jump mentorship and I just, I went, okay. I, I identify them all as go, okay, these are, these are great for emerging artists. And then they ended up being like, the last ones on offer. Just like, oh man, that sucks. But I was, I’m just glad I gotta hoover up some of them as I didn’t know they were gonna disappear.

00:22:47 Nick Breedon
So we have you to blame, basically

00:22:49 Abdul-Rahman
I just took take, take, take that me Abdul-Rahman take, man.

00:22:55 Kiera Brew Kurec
I think we were kind of coming through at a time where, we saw all of those massive cuts and they’re, you’re just reminding me of all of those ones that were around specifically for emerging, that really,

00:23:08 Abdul-Rahman
There were some fellowships in you know Aus Co would offer from Mid-Career emerging and

00:23:12 Yes.

00:23:12 Nick Breedon
the QANTAS one.

00:23:14 Kiera Brew Kurec
Oh yeah, the QANTAS one

00:23:15 Abdul-Rahman
I got, I got, I got the last one . Second last.

00:23:18 Nick Breedon
Good work.

00:23:18 Abdul-Rahman
That was another one. Yeah, man. They gave like, you know, what’s it, they, the, the prize money reduced every year on that, but I think I may have got the last one, which was about five grand cash and five grand in flights. Which is better than a punch in the face. That’s for sure

00:23:33 Nick Breedon
well, they just give that money to Alan Joyce now

00:23:37 Abdul-Rahman
Oh people have tax to not pay. Come on. Oh my God. But I was also very conscious coming out ’cause I was a bit older of really identifying myself as an emerging artist the positive that come out of that because, ’cause you are new to it and there are a lot of things in funding and resources and opportunities, which are aimed specifically at that. I also was very conscious that I didn’t want people to think, because I was in my mid thirties, that I’d been around for 10 years, but no one to see my work ’cause I was shit. I wanted to people to know that no, I am fresh. I’m a newbie. Yeah. Yeah. And like, because a lot of mature ages struggle with that. They don’t, they don’t want to be thought of as starting from scratch. They, and you know, they, they bites at their ego too much, but, but you are starting from scratch. You’re the same as anyone just popping out of art school. Yeah. In some ways Yeah. You, unless you, yeah. People do struggle with that. But I guess, I have a fairly platinum coated ego. Yeah. You know, my dark secret. I was very, I was very, I guess focusing. Confident in what I wanted to do or what I felt I could offer as an artist. And, and also I had my brother too, and especially at the beginning like that, we were such a, you know, it’s so nice to have, you know, your closest touchstones in life and that this is the same way worked with me and my wife now, who are also your closest touchstones in art.

00:25:06 Kiera Brew Kurec
That’s so nice.

00:25:06 Abdul-Rahman
That’s not necessarily, you can’t plan for that, but it is such a, you know, a, a resource, you know. So handy to have your, that level of teamwork. Yeah. You, we, the closest people you most love and most trust are right there in art with you.

00:25:21 Kiera Brew Kurec
Mm. Mm-hmm. I was hoping that you could, circling back to, the things that you’ve needed to overcome any kind of obstacles, would you mind highlighting some of them that you have had to, challenges that you’ve had to face and overcome to continue your practice?

00:25:40 Abdul-Rahman
I guess it’s like the same challenge as anyone else in sort of, you know, monetising it enough so that you can do it. Finding space, finding security in that space. Finding space in terms of like, you know, operating here from WA too, uh, working out how to, you know, best use and funding bodies and make them your friends, which they have really been, you know, instrumental in me being able to be an artist.

00:26:07 All of those things. More recently, managing your ageing body as, because it works quite physical and on, and, you know, quite a large scale. Everything’s quite heavy and I’m like, you know, I describe myself as a, a bit of a barrelelogram. I’m a, I’m a log of a person. I’m strong enough, but, you know, you know, your joints and your shoulders.

00:26:26 Nick Breedon
I mean, oh, it takes its toll for sure.

00:26:28 Abdul-Rahman
I need this to work forever. Like so you have to. Like, you know, you tackle these things head on sometimes.

00:26:35 Kiera Brew Kurec
When your body is your tool, you know, and it, you’re required to use it and when you see the toll that your work takes on your body, it’s, it’s pretty confronting.

00:26:45 Abdul-Rahman
You’re going, you do, you do some something like, oh, you know, this could be working against me. You just have to manage it. You just have to work out how, how to do that. Or, you know, if you do hurt yourself or have problems with certain injuries and that you gotta, you know, you gotta, can’t ignore that shit. You gotta say it’s a certain amount of health to keep doing what you love doing. Yeah. Oh. ’cause it would be awful if being taken away from it for something like that, it would just, I don’t think about that, but, but sometimes you in into yourself when it’s, you know, it gets really scary that, you know, you go, maybe I can’t do this. It’s like, oh yeah, I’m not finished. I’ve got too much work to do. Yeah.

00:27:21 Nick Breedon
Is, like, materials handling something that you’ve, that you’ve found, uh, that you’ve invested in some equipment over time to, to actually move around and, manipulate the kind of materials that you’re working on?

00:27:35 Abdul-Rahman
Not really. Most of what I is hand tools. Yeah. I have no lifting devices. I, I have looked at many and varied things and I’m going, can’t wait till I can afford to buy, you know, I’d love a forklift or something like that. Even people use our various pulley systems. Everything I do, even the bigger works, they’re usually in parts and I’ll lift and move and carry them around by myself. It’s a lot easier with two people sometimes, but then some of them really at my limits. But no, I haven’t gone beyond that because I just simply need to move it around and I like, you know, you putting certain restrictions in place so that you know that you can always . It’s handy. Maybe I’m to move your own work around. It’s really annoying.

00:28:13 Nick Breedon
Yeah, I can, I can certainly recommend. I actually recently invested in a, like an engine crane. To move around a world.

00:28:21 Abdul-Rahman
Yes. I mean, well, there’s things like that.

00:28:22 Nick Breedon
Yeah. Yeah. I, I like, and that has completely changed my life. I think like more than a, you know, pallet jack or kind of trolley lift or something like that. It’s, it’s just so good at lifting things, you know, up on a bench back onto the floor.

00:28:36 Abdul-Rahman
Oh. And once that’s moving, or at least on wheels, then it’s like, oh, life is back again. Back on track yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I, I, I probably do need to do something like that one day. But in the meantime, I just rely on my own back. Yeah. It’s amazing what you can achieve in the studio by yourself, but when you just have to . It’s like getting things down from some of the higher shelves in the studio, and it’s like, how did I get stuff here? I have no idea.

00:29:03 Kiera Brew Kurec
I think there’s like, you know, especially when you’re doing that in a level of fatigue and you forgot that, you know, you might’ve put that there fresh in the morning when you had a little bit more.

00:29:14 Abdul-Rahman
That’s true or getting something up on a high shelf. Once you’ve got one end up, you can get the whole thing up, getting it down again, and then coming down a ladder is a lot like

00:29:21 Kiera Brew Kurec
mm-hmm. That is very, very true.

00:29:23 Abdul-Rahman
Like walking downhill takes different muscles. It uses the weird ones anyway.

00:29:33 Nick Breedon
So, what does, uh, what does a successful practice, mean, uh, mean to you, at this stage in your career?

00:29:41 Abdul-Rahman
You know, and I think a successful practice is one that’s still alive and that’s it. If you’re still doing it, that is sometimes the only measure of success we have. And then there’s others you can apply on top of that, but that’s the most important one. If you’re still doing it. I think the other most important one is if you actually like what you’re doing, you know, gives you joy. I mean, like sometimes in making, I mean people, there is a lot of, uh, you know, idealisation around the process of art making, but a lot of time it is labor. A lot of time. It’s very frustrating and very, it’s just, it’s labor. But as long as what, you know, what you’re output, it gives you joy and you love it makes you happy and you really love your own work, I think that’s really important. Then that is a measure of, you know, definitely a measure of success, I think. Yeah. If, if you’re still doing it, but there is a lot to be said for being a practicing artist. Like, you still have to be doing it, you know? The other side for me, my own personal measure is that it’s, you know, it’s my occupation. It’s, it’s what I do for a living as well. That is, and I, and quite often that’s not, it’s not like a fancy living, not living large, but it gives you a really good life. Like you can live rich by being poor, which is a bit annoying. ’cause I like to do live rich while being rich. But you get that because, I mean, you talk to art and often it’s such a struggle, but what you literally get to spend your days doing is, is like you would have to be a rich person to even contemplate, you know, this sort of lifestyle, I guess. And like the travel involved or like, you know, I just love, you know, getting studio in the morning going, you know, what stretches out before you so much. It’s fun. I love it. You know, I, we, I want more work time, that’s the problem. But I want more because I just love doing.

00:31:24 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yeah. To expand on that, what does, your practice look like? Could you give us a day or a week or a month,

00:31:31 Abdul-Rahman
well, that has changed considerably with the, uh, onset of small children. . I used to have a lot of time and work day and night, and I was all fine. Now it is, I don’t know what the opposite of spontaneous is. I think it’s, heavily scheduled lifestyle. It’s all scheduling. It’s that shared family calendar. Uh, and Anna and I, we, I mean, we’re both artists and so we have to divide, you know, down to the, down to the minutia of the day and like swapping and changing bits of time. It requires ongoing negotiations and we, we revisit that schedule, like all the time. I have had this, the, the slight majority of work time since we had kids and since at the beginning when the kids are really small and still breastfeeding that which littlest one still is, but right now I’m down to one day a week while Anna’s doing four because she’s got a big project on, I do work nights as well. Well we are really aiming for that dead 50 50. I think, you know, we’re both artists. We both want the same things out of our careers and our lives, and we both wanna raise our children. So if you hit the middle, then you know, that’s, that’s fantastic because also I’m very, very, very aware of, uh, how easy the stacks always fall in favour of the man. The dude always gets to, you know, nearly always gets the majority of whatever, and it’s just the way dudes just get away with fucking everything out, but they have done. And so it’s really important to try and hit that middle line and just, Share the responsibilities. I would love to work more, but I’d also love to be with the kids more.

00:33:08 Nick Breedon
Yeah. Yeah. Not enough time in the day.

00:33:10 Abdul-Rahman
It’s just not enough time. And then apparently sleep is important. It’s so annoying.

00:33:14 Nick Breedon
Someone said that. Yeah.

00:33:15 Abdul-Rahman

00:33:16 Nick Breedon
Well, yeah. Hopefully they’ll be old enough soon that you can just, get them in as sort of studio apprentices.

00:33:22 Abdul-Rahman
Oh, it takes a long time. And you know what’s worse mate, because I quite like working at night. But I do find, like if you work all day and then, you know, you have your break at dinner and kids to bed, and then you can go straight back to studio and work at night and it’s fine. You got the kids all day, so you then get into the studio till at nine o’clock at night or something. You just buggered. It’s exhaust. It’s a different level of exhaustion with it’s been switched done like that with little kids. Which you love, but it really takes it outta you more so than like just working, you know? It’s hard work. It’s just. It, it takes outta you in a different way, they’re not this little for that long. And I lo I love the time I spend with them. It sounds like, it sounds cheesy, but they, it just goes by as well so quick. . But I also, you know, my own it. I, I enjoy the fact that, if you will arrive at me arriving at that 50 50 split, which is, it’s what, it’s how it should be. I think you gotta be, otherwise I’m a bad person. I’m just here, dude. If I’m still like, yeah. You know what I mean? I don’t wanna do what our dad did. Yeah. Love ’em, but they got away with fucking everything.It’s like, I don’t want to carry that pattern on, you know? Yeah.

00:34:33 Nick Breedon
Yeah. Just back, back to what you were saying just before a another, one of our very wise guests, Uh, likened, the time that you spend with your kids and the time that you’re making art as a very similar kind of energy that you need to bring, you know?

00:34:46 Abdul-Rahman
Yeah. It really is.

00:34:47 Nick Breedon
Yeah. It’s like the best of you for each of them. And so it’s difficult to do both, you know, at the same time, you know?

00:34:52 Abdul-Rahman
Oh, no, it’s, it’s, yeah. You can’t really, you can sneak in little things, but that’s when things will go wrong. When you’re trying to get something else done, it just doesn’t really work. It’s like you just gotta put it outta your head. But it does take a similar side of energy. It’s real physical, real mental, real, creative energy. It uses it all up at a rapid pace, but I do feel like, you know, hanging out with the kid, it gives, it takes, but it gives more, and no one regrets spending like more time with their kids, you know, people, that is not what people regret. It gives, it gives you so much and you just have to sort of, I’m a big believer in just letting the world around, letting it change you because it’s gonna, anyway, so there’s no point in fighting that, trying, you know, you can direct it, but you let it change you because it’s only gonna be for the better. I spend so much of my life buried in like little girl energy and it’s all fairies, unicorns and like shiny objects and like, you know, s everything. But, and that’s not a bad place to be.

00:35:51 Nick Breedon
It sounds, sounds delightful.

00:35:54 Abdul-Rahman
Yeah. The priorities are very clear and they’re just, don’t give a shit what yours are. I didn’t tell you what the actual day looks like. , Jesus. Okay. We have a Google calendar, which is a shared calendar. Everything goes into that, Anna is very organised with this stuff too. And yes, she had, she has done the emotional labor on getting that up and running, but we balance each other very well in other ways. Yeah, everything’s in that calendar and everything’s dotted down to the, you know, down to the hour.And everything. You have to allow for everything. You have to factor in doing, even doing exercise and you know, you’re talking all those things you like. Everything has to be accounted for because there is no downtime, there is no bagginess in a day. Which kind of sucks, but you just got guess what you have to do to keep everything ticking along? I say example when kids take the same energy as being in the studio, but when you’re in the studio you can also just sit down and lose an hour to doom scrolling. You do that with the kids, then you’ve lost one or two of them. You don’t get to switch off at all. Yeah. You don’t even get to go toilet by yourself of several years. Yeah. Also, when you hang out so much with kids, there’s a lot of talk about dealing with their big emotions. They’re not the problem. It’s yourself and it’s like getting through a day them where you haven’t liked and got shitty or just got, you know, let yourself fall into a hole that those are the success, these successful days. And when you have come through it as the adult, you’ve remained the adult the whole day. You’re like, this is a win,

00:37:26 Kiera Brew Kurec
so on the days that you’re in the studio, do you have a specific workflow that you follow each day or do you change it up?

00:37:36 Abdul-Rahman
Oh, it would definitely depend on what I’m actually doing, but I would tend to try and if I’m doing admin, if now I’ll do things whenever I have the time. But you admin in the morning is way better at night, then at night. I prefer to stop in the afternoon or in the evening. Yeah, it does vary a lot and I, and I will always try and factor in a little bit of exercise time. You have to just do it in work time because thats the only time you know you are going to get. But also my studio’s at home and we, we have a studio just behind the house. So, you know, every meal is still together and we see each other so much. Even if, now the kids have started gonna, one of them at school. So it varies a bit, but, so we’re always just around and I love that too. So nice for your kids to like, sort of know, seeing not, not necessarily understand get what your parents do when they’re not with you. Yeah. They don’t just vanish, you know. But yeah, other days I set, it’ll be eight till five be, or either work time and then I’ll usually go out that night from about eight 30 to 1130 quite often. Try not to go past 12 because you just get too tired because you gonna be up at six anyway, because thats what time the kids will wake you. . And everything, just so you know, very regular. So eight o’clock start to five o clock finish time, you know. And usually we just have to take turns with everything now because one of us will have the kids or, or be able to work. But yeah, it’s just very, very, very scheduled, which is great. It takes the guesswork out. It takes the resentment out, it takes the, like I just, I need clarity. There’s clarity and everything means you can’t be that agile. You can’t just decide to like, oh, I’ll just do this or that, or switch off for the night. It just doesn’t really happen. And like all artists, you just feel the extreme guilt if you are not doing something. Productive. Yes. I heard that that goes at a certain point, it can disappear. The guilt. And I was like, that’s reassuring. I’m glad

00:39:30 Nick Breedon
I look forward to that. Yes.

00:39:32 Abdul-Rahman
Because all artists know that. It’s like, I don’t think you making art, it’s just everything. You need to be moving forward and being productive and efficient and you know, it’s Yes.Very hard to just switch off and stop.

00:39:46 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yeah. Yeah. I, I don’t know. Do do we ever switch off and stop? I feel like even when we’re watching a TV show or something, you are, you are on, you’re analyzing.

00:39:56 Abdul-Rahman
Well, this is why it’s really hard to, I like, like that me and Anna are both artists and, you know, when you’re partner’s an artist too, it just, it saves a lot of time when having to explain to someone why you’re stressed out over something seemingly very odd. Fairly nonsensical to the muggles. It’s like, I would hate to have to explain that every time. It’s, it’s a pretty odd world we live in. Yeah. I love it. Full of the best people I know. So,

00:40:28 Kiera Brew Kurec
for sure. Uh, would you be able to share with us what some of the biggest resources that, you have found over your career that have assisted you?

00:40:38 Abdul-Rahman
I still reckon the biggest resource we have is the people around us. It’s always people and the relationships we have and they, you know, they will extend into professional life too. Like, like all the, the curators who I do work with and people who come, you know, who have done more, you know, projects over several years. You know, you get the point where you’ve just known them for a very long time as well. And those relationships are professional and their, you know, social, they’re all of, they love art, give you all of those things, but you build them and you respect them and you, you know, you have to put energy into those things. It’s fun, but it’s still you, you still energy you gotta spend on it. People are the biggest resource. Also, it’s just educating yourself. And I think that the best example is funding and funding bodies and how they will best serve you and they can become you’re, you know, an essential, it’s sucked how reliant you can be on ’em, but also, yeah. Lucky we do have them. And so use, use them as, as best as you can. And just know what’s there.

00:41:38 Nick Breedon
Have you found, like, you know, your, your work is, is quite, uh, labor intensive, very practical. You obviously have this very long history of working in model making and that kind of world. Is there any like practical resources that have been really formative for you in making your, work in its kind of current, sort of formation.

00:41:59 Abdul-Rahman
Oh yeah, there is some sort of like outlines, which were kind of you much more context based than me. Like there there is, we have a place here called the Museum of Natural History, which is a small private taxidermy museum run by Michael Buzza, who’s a taxidermist. He also owns, it’s in an old theatre in Guilford and I’ve known him from, from before. I was an artist back in the motor making days, but I use a lot of taxidermy as reference material and

00:42:23 Nick Breedon
so amazing.

00:42:24 Abdul-Rahman
So I hire taxidermy and so I’ve got a long relationship with him and there’s so many in my work side. I could see them in his museum. There’s that animal, what I used to base this one on, so weird little resources like that, which have been amazing for me. I’m really glad I have him. Incredible. Shout out to Michael Buzza. ’cause the actual, like say the physical, the material side of what I do, it’s, it’s not vastly different from a trade in that, you know, the suppliers are like, you know, big wood suppliers or, or Bunnings. You know, we all give our money to Bunnings.

00:43:01 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yes we do

00:43:03 Abdul-Rahman
in terms of that. There’s not a drastic difference to what I was doing before I was an artist. But there are there, I don’t know. I think there most of your biggest resources are the people around you, and where you are. I think right now one of my biggest resources is where I live. Being able to build a studio on a farm and live in a house that I don’t have to pay rent to live there. And I’ve spent my entire life through 25 years or whatever, paying rent until it went up there. And I was like, this is amazing. What a gift. And, ’cause we, we living, it was Anna’s grandparents house on the farm and we renovated it quite a lot and built studio there. And so we just sort of like benefit from all of that, which is a massive, privilege I guess. I mean, we do, we we pay for the studio to built it and we, we and so’s certainly plenty of costs, but that is a massive one. And I’m not, I, because I also like a big fan of say things like this and talking to people. I’ve just being very straight up and honest about how the fact you can do what you do. ’cause I just, shit to me, when there’s this obs obfuscation, is that the word? People get awkward about how they’ve propped themselves up and feel really weird about being supported by various things. And then it’s like, usually it’s people with money being feeling awkward about telling people they’ve got money, which,

00:44:22 Kiera Brew Kurec
yeah. But it is, it’s really confusing when you are like younger and you’re like, how do these people make it work? Like, what is going on? How can I, you know,

00:44:31 Nick Breedon
and are they better looking than me? I, I just don’t understand.

00:44:35 Kiera Brew Kurec
Well, yeah. A lot of it is to do with like, if you have housing, then you can, there’s so many more things that you can afford to do because your time can be dedicated to working on art rather than working on rent.

00:44:49 Abdul-Rahman
A chunk of money that you don’t have to earn to do a so you can do B. That’s like, it, it’s a gift of time, you know? Something like that. And that’s only, you know, in the last few years that, you know, that has been something in my life, but damn, I’m, I’m enjoying every, I’m very grateful for that kind of, Every day. That sounds so cheesy. I’ve gotta be grateful every day. But you know, it’s just, it’s there. Yeah. You know? Yeah. And I didn’t feel grateful every day paying rent. There was no question of buying. I couldn’t afford to own anything, you know? Yeah. And say like, even Perth, where it is, it is cheaper. It’s still like, you know, it’s still artists. It’s not, it’s a hustle. But, and so that is one of the big bones of space, access to space. I have that, which is, I love it. I, I didn’t grow up in a farm or in the country. I even really even knew anyone with a farm before this, so I love it. Yeah. Something it’s really

00:45:44 Nick Breedon
Blow in from the City

00:45:45 Abdul-Rahman
Oh, yeah, yeah. When I got my first Akubra last year, oh. Was like this one a black one. You look like a newbie? I’m, yeah. I’m an emerging regional person.

00:46:00 Nick Breedon
Not allowed to have a black Akubra.

00:46:02 Abdul-Rahman
I got the black Akubra.

00:46:03 Kiera Brew Kurec
Oh, I have a black one as well. And I’ve been told, you know, explicitly that you, you shouldn’t be wearing that around here.

00:46:10 Abdul-Rahman
Well, like, that sounds exactly why I should be wearing one around here. I like, it makes me, I wear it and it looks like I know how to play a guitar when I wear it. I, I do not. I have a beard and a black Akubra.

00:46:26 Nick Breedon
Yeah. Literal, literal city people.

00:46:29 Abdul-Rahman
Yeah. I just, because the farm is really not that far away too. So technically it’s regional, but it’s not far from the city centre. So I kind of get the best of, best of all worlds, I think.

00:46:42 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yeah. Fantastic.

00:46:45 Nick Breedon
So if there was, uh, if there was some advice that you would give to your, very, uh,

00:46:51 Abdul-Rahman
my nascent self.

00:46:52 Nick Breedon
Yes. Your nascent self, uh, between all of the art schools and the, uh, the education and the learning, before you were, you know, decided to really commit, what advice would you give to yourself?

00:47:04 Abdul-Rahman
Well, it’s funny ’cause I was looking at the question this morning and I was like, that one is like, you know, what would you like to hear? But it’s like, it’s not so much advice or what you like to hear once you’re an artist. I just think that I want to throw this one back on art education and all this, some of the stuff which, you know, those, those years that you were, you know, I remember working out at some point, this was 10 plus years ago, and I was at uni and it was, I was paying about 40 something dollars an hour to be there for every bit of contact hours or whatever. And it’s probably gone up considerably since then. So it is not an inconsequential sum of money that pastors from A to B mostly from, you know, it’s, future money usually. . So, you know, in hindsight there was some real holes in the What you got. And I mean, the most nuts and bullshit. I mean, they never, when I was at Uni I would’ve loved to get in far better definitions of how art might work. Some real world examples of actual artists telling us how they do what they do.

00:48:01 Nick Breedon
You’re welcome everyone.

00:48:02 Abdul-Rahman
Funny that Yeah. But like, like things like that. Even like going through funding process, funding application, even proposed application, real world shit. It just was skipped over in lieu of this sort of idea of this very, I don’t know how you’d describe it there. You know, this idea of what art should be without any of the practicalities, with this big gap in how you get from A to B, it was like, it was almost, you know, a sense of distaste around having to make a living from this or something and think things like that. You know, even to the point where I never even got told what a curator was while I was at art school, and it’s like, why the fuck wouldn’t they have at least a definition of that? They play a role in your career, that’s for sure. You know, there’s all sort of things that, which I kind of put back on art education because it’s, it’s under siege. It’s all my, you know, since the mid nineties, every art school I’ve ever been to has always been under siege and there’s some sort of protest going on, uh, you know, strikes and things like this about, you know, the school shrinking, you know, losing, they’ve always been like that, you know, it’s just the way it seems to be and across art education but yeah, all those, all those things are really nuts and bolts. Really straightforward things I would’ve loved to have just been told about back then. Even definitions, even like websites of, you know, who the funding, anybody that what they actually, what they’re called. Look, look, here’s the form. You can download ’em all, it’s all this content which they could provide. Yeah. You know, very easily just connecting A to B and I mean, obviously if yeah, if you, if you, if it’s not well around time, then fine. But, you know, if it’s, it really, really, really, really is.

00:49:47 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yeah. One of the things that I’m, you know, I feel like I really missed out on and now I see like now that I’m kind of working in more arts, organisations, is how there isn’t any kind of instructional support on how as an artist to build relationships with, curators or other arts workers or writers and like how. You are just meant to kind of magically know how to make that work and what the, the kind of rules are and how, you know, obviously

00:50:19 Abdul-Rahman
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

00:50:20 Kiera Brew Kurec
It’s, you know, be a human, but there is just all these kind of unspoken rules that no one ever lets you in on, and you have to figure it out on your own. And that can be very confronting and also mean that a lot of people can’t, you know, step up to the table because they, they’ve never just been given that very simple, bit of insight.

00:50:44 Abdul-Rahman
Well, I, no, I do know what you mean because, it’s not like, ’cause it’s all very like, contextual. It’s not like the way it works for one person is the magic key. It’s gonna work for everyone else like that. You just need examples of how it has worked for someone. And, and, and those examples are there for everyone who is sort of working, you know, in, in the field. But they. Yeah, they’re just, we, we don’t get any access to them at a time when you kind of should. Yeah. Just to explain that these relationships even exist and, you know, you don’t even have and can be, it can be really daunting for people starting off to even, you know, they feel like, I feel like openings and exhibits and that I love ’em and they’re so warm and social for me and like, you know, they’re really fun things. They seem so inviting, but from entirely from the outside, it’s so opaque, you know? People wanna be a part of something, but there is just no obvious ways in. I guess they just need access examples of it. But that’s just kind of entirely from my experience anyway, kind of not mention they just focus on art making and like there is a certain professionalism, there is a certain industry standard. There is, at least you should know, you know, know the terminology. So you can find out if you don’t even know the question to ask. You know? But I mean also the other side of this too, once you’re sort of out of art school, and I really, at, especially at this stage, don’t have a lot of intention of doing any postgrad. Now, one day I might do masters’ as an, in my nineties, I want an honorary doctorate. I do not want to earn that doctorate. I want it to be given to me.

00:52:17 Nick Breedon
Good choice.

00:52:18 Kiera Brew Kurec
You’ll have earned it in other ways.

00:52:21 Abdul-Rahman
I wanna be a living treasure. That’s what, but so you kind of forget about art school and it’s just like, yeah, I said intro chapter. But it is really important and. I mean, those relationships you form there, you, you find your lifers there. I mean, I met my wife there and like, and, and you look back over my life and all my longest friends, that that’s where they came from. . They’ll can all traced back to art school at different places and stuff. You really, you find your family there. So, and it’s great, but it just could be better, just could be a little more practical sometimes. And show us, teach us about super, for example, and how to pay your back. Yeah.

00:52:57 Kiera Brew Kurec
Oh, yes, please.

00:52:59 Abdul-Rahman
Surely that wouldn’t be a big ask. It’s not like the information he is hiding or it’s like big mystery. That stuff’s important. But ’cause you know, and I mean, as everybody sort of gets in, artists are, you know, they, they’re clever articulate people. You kind of have to be to get anywhere. And they all are, they’re all way overqualified and all very smart. So all this stuff, it’s not a matter of like not being able to grasp it, it’s just. You just need to be given it earlier. That’s it. Instead of having to work it all out yourself.

00:53:31 Kiera Brew Kurec
Totally. And everyone else, everyone has to do it. So I don’t know why it’s like a secret. Yeah. Like the teachers have been doing it. Like, let the students know

00:53:42 Abdul-Rahman
why are they holding out on us? Why do they hate us so much?

00:53:45 Nick Breedon
It’s just like academically below them. So Yeah. But we have no shame. So someone should give us a job. I know some universities

00:53:52 Kiera Brew Kurec
I’ll teach you about how to do your tax

00:53:54 Nick Breedon
professional practice

00:53:56 Abdul-Rahman
. There’s mysterious thing called superannuation that everyone else gets that you don’t.

00:54:00 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yeah. And you are entitled to ask for it in your grants. Like, do it.

00:54:05 Abdul-Rahman
Yeah you are yes. But I mean, isn’t that one of the the old catch 20 twos about, oh, gotta trim it back. You gotta be competitive. So like, . You just take it all out of your own pocket every time. Because. That’s expectation to usually when, if you’re doing actually thats another resource i guess i have been on assessment panels done it a few time and it such a good education but one of the, the, one of the things you always have to get used to is being the only person in the room who’s not on a salary. Yeah. So it’s like, oh man. It’s kind.

00:54:42 Nick Breedon
Tell everyone to hold their head in.

00:54:44 Abdul-Rahman
Well, how important it’s that you are there. Yes. And you know, these, these fees are what we live on they’re not just this bonus on top of something. We don’t have a monthly check or whatever. You know, it’s like, that is it. That’s our ary. Yeah, that’s our bills. So like, you know, that is, that’s not just this bonus, like it’s tiny, little tiny subsidy. So don’t tell what little we have away yeah.

00:55:07 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yeah. I think being on an assessment panel is an amazing thing. Not like to kind of get a window in to see the conversations that are being had.

00:55:16 Abdul-Rahman
Oh, I love that. It’s exciting

00:55:18 Kiera Brew Kurec
and getting the, like privilege to read all of these other people’s applications and how different people form and pitch and doesn’t, but also like getting to be the artist’s voice in the room is really important. And, yeah, it’s a,

00:55:33 Abdul-Rahman
yeah, well, very often you’ll be the only actual artist in there. There might be some others, you know, who are, you know, academics and things like that, but like very rarely then is this a full-time artist? Most people have a job position or whatever and it’s like, ah, these people in art with jobs, they start thinking they’re the art world.

00:55:53 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yes, yes.

00:55:56 Abdul-Rahman
But yeah, makes you realise you need to be in. I love. I haven’t done it for a bit, it’s just a time thing now, but doing assessments is so much fun. I love reading a great, a great application and I really enjoy reading a really shit one, because you know, if it’s shit and you’re going, cool, this won’t take long. And it’s, but the really good ones, you’re just like, oh, really gives you a lot of heart in the, sort of the state of art as well. Because a lot of these things you won’t encounter because they’re overseas or they’re just, you know, they’re, you just won’t, you know, this place is big. But then just seeing, just cool stuff happening, it is just, it gets you fired up about, you know, it doesn’t state of art.

00:56:37 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yeah. It’s inspiring for sure.

00:56:39 Abdul-Rahman
And then when they, when you realize how much, uh, funding people are not gonna get, then you come crashing down to earth and you’re like, oh, this is, well, this is a real bummer. Oh, that’s the cutoff line. The highs, the lows,

00:56:55 Kiera Brew Kurec
the highs and the lows. Indeed. Well we might, you know, on that kind of high and kind of low note wrap it up. But I just wanna say thank you so much for coming on the show. We’re obviously both massive fans of your practice and it’s just been,

00:57:11 Abdul-Rahman
thank you.

00:57:12 Kiera Brew Kurec
So lovely, to have this time to chat this afternoon and, yeah, thank you.

00:57:17 Abdul-Rahman
Oh, I hope I tend to like just meander and someone ask the question. I was like, I did not answer that question. That babbled some shit. But just start talking. But thanks so much because I really, I have listened to all the other Pro Prac’s and it is one of the few platforms where I was like i have to listen to all of these. I,

00:57:34 Nick Breedon
that’s so flattering.

00:57:36 Abdul-Rahman
You guys are asking the right questions and it’s like, this is what people actually wanna know.

00:57:40 You know, what’s the nuts? What’s the nuts and bolts? You know?

00:57:43 Kiera Brew Kurec
Yeah, exactly.

00:57:44 Abdul-Rahman
Because it makes everything, you know, it, it’s, it’s achievable, it’s doable. We can live this life, you know? . Just keep going. And it’s like, and plus you see they’re listening going, oh man, that’s a smart, oh, you guys gotta better edit me in a way that I sound smart because people are really clever.

00:58:04 Kiera Brew Kurec
Don’t worry. It’ll be easy. An easy job for us. Thank you so much for, yeah,

00:58:09 Abdul-Rahman
no worries. . Thank you very much.

00:58:09 Nick Breedon

00:58:11 Nick Breedon
This episode was recorded on the Sovereign lands of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to the traditional custodians, the Gadigal and Bidjigal people, and pay respects to elders past, present, and emerging. We extend this acknowledgement to the traditional custodians of the lands and waters that this podcast reaches you on today. Our intro music is created by Evelyn Ida Morris.

00:58:35 Kiera Brew Kurec
This season a Pro Prac was generously supported by the Australia Council for the Arts New Project Grant.

00:58:43 Nick Breedon
Thanks for listening to Pro Prac. You can listen to other episodes and subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can stay up to date with what we’re up to on Instagram @propracpodcast or send us an email at