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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.

Telphia

1990 (printed 2013)
Michael Riley

from the series ‘Michael Riley Portraits 1984-1990’
inkjet print on paper (frame: 62.0 cm x 43.3 cm, image: 60.0 cm x 41.0 cm)

Telphia Joseph, a Wajarri Yamatji woman from Western Australia, is an Associate Lecturer at the University of New South Wales School of Population Health and Community Medicine, where she teaches Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health focus subjects. In 1990, when Joseph was photographed by Michael Riley for his series Portraits by a Window, she was a model with Lee Madden's Promotions and Model Agency in Redfern, which promoted Aboriginal models on catwalks internationally. She was also a dancer with the Aboriginal Islander Dance Theatre, established in 1975 and a central part of the vibrant Aboriginal arts community in the inner west. The AIDT was based in an old church building on Bridge Road, Glebe, and Riley was a regular visitor to the area. Portraits by a Window included several young dancers with the AIDT, capturing them 'at that moment – starting their careers', and was shot at Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Cooperative in Chippendale, in front of a paint-spattered backdrop with a suffused side light. This image is also part of the series Michael Riley Portraits 1984–1990.

Purchased 2013
© Michael Riley/Copyright Agency, 2021

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Michael Riley (age 30 in 1990)

Telphia Joseph

Subject professions

Health and medicine

Performing arts

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

Portrait story

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

Tracey
Tracey
Tracey
Tracey

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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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency