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Richard Walley OAM honoured in new Portrait Gallery commission

2 September 2015

Richard Walley, 2015 Julie Dowling
Richard Walley, 2015 Julie Dowling

The Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Angus Trumble, invites media to the launch of a new commissioned portrait funded by the Gallery’s Foundation at Murdoch University in Perth tonight, Wednesday 2 September.

The new portrait, by celebrated Indigenous artist Julie Dowling depicts indigenous advocate, writer, artist, performer and Murdoch University alumni Richard Walley OAM.

Director, Angus Trumble, is honoured to unveil this significant addition to the collection in Perth.

‘We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring together Julie Dowling and Richard Walley in this special way, with the support of the National Portrait Gallery Foundation. Without the support of our donors and sponsors these commissions would not be possible,’ he said.

‘As two leading Indigenous figures from Western Australia, it is wonderful to launch the portrait in their home state.’

Murdoch University Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Andrew Taggart, is pleased to be hosting the unveiling at the University.

‘Murdoch University is delighted to be hosting an event of this nature, as this will be the first time an Indigenous West Australian will be represented in a painting at the National Portrait Gallery,’ he said.

‘With both Richard and Julie holding Honorary Doctorates from Murdoch University, we are immensely proud of the work that they have done out in the community and look forward to this stunning piece of art being admired by generations to come.’

Richard Walley OAM is a former Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board of the Australia Council. He is also the founder and director of Aboriginal Productions and Promotions.

Julie Dowling is known for her social realist style of painting, drawing on a diverse range of traditions including European portraiture, Christian icons, mural painting, dotting and Indigenous Australian iconography. Her work is represented in most major Australian public collections.

The commission was made possible through the generous contributions of Foundation members Alan Dodge AM, Neil Archibald, Brandon Munro, Dr Walter Ong and Graeme Marshall.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Ngunnawal people, the traditional custodians of the land upon which the NPG stands.