Imagining Bundanon


WHEN: Opening Night 22 March 5-7PM 15 Mar 2023 – 8 Apr 2023


VENUE: 107 Green Square

‘Imagining Bundanon’ is a collaborative exhibition featuring the work of long-standing artist comrades; Luke Abdallah and Matthew Elliott.

Having met at Studio ARTES (‘a place where people with a disability can be supported to set goals, and reach beyond those goals’) many years ago, the pair have been actively collaborating since 2019.

A major goal of this duo was to secure an accessible art residency, which was met in September 2022 upon completion of the Accessible Arts Bundanon Art Residency. This exhibition sheds light on the artistic journey these artists undertook to reach that residency and the painterly explorations of nature in their respective and collaborative art practices in preparation for the Bundanon art residency.

107 Green Square is filled with an expansive collection of Luke and Matt’s expressive, abstract landscape paintings, showcasing the similarities in subject matter and mark-making between the two artists.
Inclusivity and accessibility is at the forefront of thought for these artists, in their approach to art making and also when considering audience interaction. As such, many of the artworks on display can be experienced by touch as well as visually, with painterly application tools displayed alongside their corresponding pieces (Abdallah’s white painting cane and brushes, branches and flora used for painting, Elliott’s modified and adaptive painting tools, etc.). Additionally, footage captured during the Bundanon art residency will be premiering, giving the audience an insight into Luke Abdallah and Matt Elliott’s innovative painting techniques and unique art practices.

As a call back to Abdallah’s 2022 live performance during the ARTiculate Festival at 107 Green Square, Luke will also be displaying his large black and white canvas ‘What’s Going On’ alongside video documentation of the performance.

This exhibition is curated by Zachariah Fenn, long-standing Studio ARTES Art Facilitator of both Luke Abdallah and Matthew Elliott.

Luke Abdallah:

Luke Abdallah is an emerging artist, living and working in Sydney. Focussing primarily on expressive, abstract painting, Abdallah employs a multitude of tools and techniques to apply paint in swathes of texture and colour. Entranced in his artistic process, Abdallah’s gestural paint strokes capture his actions and movement, forming a rich tapestry of rhythmic energy.

Born totally blind and living with elective mutism, Abdallah incorporates multi-sensory inspiration into his works, often drawing expressiveness from a myriad of stimuli - sound, smell, texture, vibration and taste.
Keenly aware of the importance of accessible practice, Abdallah invites his audience to enjoy his works both by sight and by touch.

Luke Abdallah’s practice has been facilitated through Studio ARTES for over 10 years, a unique organisation which ‘provides support to adults with a disability, through programs in creative arts and life skills’. He has held four solo exhibitions since 2018, features in Ikouii's first book 'Inside Their Studio: Artists with Disabilities and Their Collaborators', and recently undertook the Accessible Arts Bundanon art residency alongside Matthew Elliott.

Matthew Elliott:

Matthew Elliott is a practicing artist living with Cerebral Palsy, living and working in Sydney. As an abstract landscape painter and drawer he has a fascination with dream states, creating lucid mindscapes with a range of media that draw inspiration from the natural environment. Matt’s creative output stems from a fascination with the motion and fluidity of water, and the forces of nature. Harnessing his imagination and entire physicality to paint and draw on both large and intimate scales, Matt’s powerfully emotive dreamscapes are as alluring as they are compelling in their depiction of natural scenes.

Matthew Elliott is determined to not let his disability hinder what he wants to do in life. He has been an active member at Studio ARTES Northside for 21 years where he has developed his art practice. Matt was an awardee of the Studio A Professional Pathways Award (2018) and completed his first solo exhibition in 2022. He features in Ikouii's second book 'Inside Their Studio: Deaf and Disabled Artists Reshaping the Arts'. Matt undertook the Accessible Arts Bundanon art residency in September 2022 and is continuing this body of work towards a major collaborative exhibition with Luke Abdallah.