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Marian Abboud

Marian Abboud is a Western Sydney based artist working primarily with community through socially engaged actions in activism and popular culture.

Marian Abboud collaborates with community and audience to create multi-layered narrative driven installation, video and performance works, that challenge perceptions of identity, land and complex historical and cultural frameworks. 

For the last seven years she has worked at Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE) in Parramatta and is currently working as a  Community Engagement Artist Educator at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. She has worked with various Greater Sydney Councils, RailCorp, Powerhouse Museum and RMIT on public artworks that aim to challenge perceptions of the land we inhabit. Abboud has also worked on several youth engagement projects, working with artists with access needs or with artists experiencing homelessness or in need of social inclusion activities. Her practice has been adaptable and unique to the community or people she works with. Primarily in collaboratory and participatory long-term engagement. 

Abboud is currently working with Arab Theatre Studios for a participatory performance in March. She is working towards two solo shows including Sister + Sister + Sister + Sister (+ Brother) + Sister which opens at Fairfield City Museum and Gallery in August, and will undergo an artists residency at Peacock Gallery for an exhibition in November. She is also continuing a long-term collaboration with Canberra University Robotics department for an exhibition in 2019.

As part of the Anxiety Festival in October 2017, Abboud collaborated with indigenous choreographer Vicki Van Hout to present Petition Never to Die, a unique performance on the bank of the Parramatta River utilising performance video art provocations to confront interpersonal boundaries via artist and audience, public and private, consensual and nonsensical, abstract and virtual world realities. 

In late 2016 Abboud delivered a youth-based arts engagement project in the City of Sydney community of Woolloomooloo. The resulting collaboration with 12 young people from the area resonated among the community and offered more engagement opportunities for other youth service providers throughout 2017 and 2018

In 2016 Abboud worked on Mothers Spice presented as part of Art Month Sydney. The project focused on the use of spices as a trigger to unravel personal narratives and journeys of migration and refuge to Australia following the stories of four asylum seeker, migrant and refugee women from Sydney's Western Suburbs.

Abboud was the recipient of the 2014-15 Parramatta Artist Fellowship and travelled to Lebanon to complete an integral part to be included in the fellowship. The project draws upon personal experiences - of facing one's mortality, ideas of faith and uncertainty.

Abboud graduated from the University of Western Sydney with a Bachelor of Visual Communication in 2002. She has exhibited extensively locally and nationally and has collaborated on many dance and performance based projects. She is currently working on various projects across a broad range of disciplines including photography, film, performance, dance and public art.

In this video, Abboud chats to NAVA about growing up in a family where art wasn't considered, working with communities that don't like art and the magic that can happen outside a gallery context.

Video Production: Dominic Kirkwood.

Photo: Alex Wisser.