Ian Abdulla (1947–2011) was a Ngarrindjeri Australian Aboriginal artist, who was born in 1947 at Swan Reach on the Murray River, in the Riverland region of South Australia. Sometimes, described as one of Australia’s greatest native artists, his art depicts the landscape and activities of this area, with a strong storytelling element. His works are distinct for the inclusion of hand-painted annotations which briefly describe the depicted scene.
Ian’s steady output ensured his stature as an artist of substance. He had a stellar career, contributing to a host of solo and survey exhibitions. In 1991 Abdulla was named South Australian Aboriginal Artist of the Year. His work was featured on the cover of the World Health Organisation’s annual report and his paintings have been exhibited around the world and form part of the permanent collection at the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Photograph of Ian Abdulla by Mick Bradley (Courtesy of Greenaway Art Gallery)