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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.

Michael Kelly, 1998

Rick Amor

softground etching on paper (sheet: 37.1 cm x 28.0 cm, image: 30.2 cm x 16.3 cm)

Michael Kelly (b. 1956) graduated from Darlinghurst’s National Art School in 1985 and became an art teacher. In the early 1990s, he held his first solo exhibitions in Melbourne. A few years later, he began going out out with Rick Amor, Andrew Southall and Phil Davey on their regular Friday painting excursions. In 2003 the Friday Group marked its tenth anniversary with the touring exhibition 500 Fridays; but when Kelly left to live in Sydney, the group disbanded. Kelly has had about a dozen solo exhibitions of works that Amor characterises as ‘spiritual landscapes, with great feeling’. He was represented by a gallery in Woollahra, but concentrates, now, on plein air painting in the streets of Darlinghurst, and making books available to people living without homes in that area. Nightworks, an exhibition of his work in 2012, featured paintings of people experiencing homelessness and included Footpath Library. Kelly has spent many nights walking the streets of Sydney. ‘Like Christopher Brennan, the Sydney poet and scholar influenced by the French Symbolist poets,’ he wrote, “All night I have walked and my heart was deep awake”.’ Amor’s former Sydney gallerist, Tony Palmer, commented that he had invested Kelly with a Jacobean air in his print of 1998.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2005
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Rick Amor

Accession number: 2005.16

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Rick Amor (age 50 in 1998)

Michael Kelly

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Rick Amor (20 portraits)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

David Malouf video: 4 minutes and 11 seconds
David Malouf video: 4 minutes and 11 seconds
David Malouf video: 4 minutes and 11 seconds
David Malouf video: 4 minutes and 11 seconds

David Malouf

'The person who is the writer'

Portrait story

Australian author David Malouf discusses the creation of his portrait by artist Rick Amor.

Interview with Rick Amor and Shane Maloney video: 8 minutes
Interview with Rick Amor and Shane Maloney video: 8 minutes
Interview with Rick Amor and Shane Maloney video: 8 minutes
Interview with Rick Amor and Shane Maloney video: 8 minutes

Shane Maloney and Rick Amor

'Big canvas, small head'

Portrait story

Artist Rick Amor and author Shane Maloney relate divergent experiences of the creation of Shane's portrait.

Dorothy Porter, 2001-02 Rick Amor
Dorothy Porter, 2001-02 Rick Amor
Dorothy Porter, 2001-02 Rick Amor
Dorothy Porter, 2001-02 Rick Amor

Beautiful bones

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2011

Sarah Engledow reflects on the shared life and writing of Dorothy Porter and Andrea Goldsmith.

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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.