The art of Abdu’Allah and his contemporaries in the early 1980s can be evaluated in a manner that fills an important void within available scholarship on the subject of contemporary art in relation to Afro-British culture. What began as an artistic gesture in the 1980s more fully materialised in the early twenty-first century as a complete conceptual approach that questioned issues of race and identity in relation to issues of cultural diversity and multiculturalism. Abdu’Allah’s work broke away from the British artistic establishment and the rules of institutional representation, particularly insofar as he began selecting his subjects from émigré utopia, Afro-British social consciousness, Muslim identity, and working-class life. He also integrated other views of London, portraying it as a city of dislocated communities that were powerless in the existing world of art.
Excerpt from ‘The Art of Dislocation’ by Professor Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz,
Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town.