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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Beauty and strength

Portraits by Michael Riley

Influential Indigenous Australian artist Michael Riley (1960 - 2004) created these portrait photographs between 1984 and 1990 - they stand as an intricately connected group portrait of the vibrant urban-based Indigenous arts community in Sydney's inner-west at a formative moment.

More information on Beauty and strength

Selected images

Hetti, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1990 (printed 2013) Michael Riley. © Michael Riley/Copyright Agency, 2021
Tracey, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1986 (printed 2013) Michael Riley. © Michael Riley/Copyright Agency, 2021
Darrell, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1990 (printed 2013) Michael Riley. © Michael Riley/Copyright Agency, 2021
Kristina, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1984 (printed 2013) Michael Riley. © Michael Riley/Copyright Agency, 2021
Linda and Binni, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1984 (printed 2013) Michael Riley. © Michael Riley/Copyright Agency, 2021
Maria, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1986 (printed 2013) Michael Riley. © Michael Riley/Copyright Agency, 2021
Avril, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1986 (printed 2013) Michael Riley. © Michael Riley/Copyright Agency, 2021
Kristina, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1986 (printed 2013) Michael Riley. © Michael Riley/Copyright Agency, 2021
Avril and Miya, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1990 (printed 2013) Michael Riley. © Michael Riley/Copyright Agency, 2021
Charles and Adam, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1990 (printed 2013) Michael Riley. © Michael Riley/Copyright Agency, 2021
Delores, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1990 (printed 2013) Michael Riley. © Michael Riley/Copyright Agency, 2021
Djon, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1990 (printed 2013) Michael Riley. © Michael Riley/Copyright Agency, 2021
Dorothy, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1990 (printed 2013) Michael Riley. © Michael Riley/Copyright Agency, 2021
Joe and Brenda, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1990 (printed 2013) Michael Riley. © Michael Riley/Copyright Agency, 2021
Telphia, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1990 (printed 2013) Michael Riley. © Michael Riley/Copyright Agency, 2021

Related information

Miles and Arkie, 2015 by Clint Peloso
Miles and Arkie, 2015 by Clint Peloso
Miles and Arkie, 2015 by Clint Peloso
Miles and Arkie, 2015 by Clint Peloso

Shop Talk

Magazine article by Stephen Phillips, 2016

Angus and the arbiters talk (photo) shop for the National Photographic Portrait Prize.

Michael Riley's portraits

Portrait story

Linda Burney, Brenda Croft and Darrell Sibosado share memories of Michael Riley and his photographic practice.

Sophisticated and glamorous

Magazine article by Amanda Rowell, 2015

Michael Riley’s early portraits by Amanda Rowell.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

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Fax +61 2 6102 7001
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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency