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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.

Hetti, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1990 (printed 2013)

Michael Riley

inkjet print on paper (frame: 45.2 cm x 43.3 cm depth 5.0 cm, image: 41.0 cm x 43.0 cm)

Hetti Kemerre Perkins (b. 1965), Arrernte and Kalkadoon curator, cultural adviser, writer and activist, completed her arts degree at the University of New South Wales in 1986 and gained a job at the Art Gallery of New South Wales three years later. She worked there until 2011, curating major survey exhibitions including Australia’s representation at the Venice Biennale of 1997 and spending thirteen years as senior curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art. In 2010 she curated art + soul: a journey into the world of Aboriginal art which gave rise to an influential exhibition, book and television documentary. She has worked with federal agencies, community arts organisations and local government to promote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander visual arts, serving as curatorial adviser to Eora Journey, the City of Sydney’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander public art program in 2010 and joining Bangarra Dance Theatre as an artist-in-residence in 2011. She was awarded the Australia Council Fellowship at the National Indigenous Art Awards of 2018. Once widely known as the daughter of the footballer and activist Charles Perkins, she is now widely known as the mother of the actor, model and activist Madeleine Madden.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2013

Accession number: 2013.50.13

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Michael Riley (age 30 in 1990)

Hetti Perkins (age 25 in 1990)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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.

Michael Riley's portraits video: 4 mins
Michael Riley's portraits video: 4 mins
Michael Riley's portraits video: 4 mins
Michael Riley's portraits video: 4 mins

Michael Riley's portraits

Portrait story

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

Tracey, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1986 (printed 2013) Michael Riley
Tracey, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1986 (printed 2013) Michael Riley
Tracey, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1986 (printed 2013) Michael Riley
Tracey, from the portfolio "Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990", 1986 (printed 2013) Michael Riley

Sophisticated and glamorous

Magazine article by Amanda Rowell, 2015

Michael Riley’s early portraits by Amanda Rowell.

Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott

The Look

Previous exhibition, 2019

Featuring striking photographic portraits of contemporary figures from the National Portrait Gallery collection, The Look is an aesthetic treat with a lashing of je ne sais quoi.

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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.