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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.

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

Michael Riley

inkjet print on paper (frame: 43.5 cm x 62.0 cm, image: 40.9 cm x 59.5 cm)

Avril Quaill (b. 1958), a Noonuccal woman, is an artist, curator and arts administrator. In 1985, Quaill graduated from Sydney College of the Arts, where she first met Riley. In 1987, she received an Australia Council Visual Arts Fellowship to take part in workshops at the Raminginning Arts Crafts centre (later Bula’bula Arts) in Arnhem Land. She has been Artistic Director of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, Queensland Indigenous Arts Marketing and Export Agency Principal Project Officer and worked as a curator at the National Gallery of Australia and Queensland Art Gallery. Quaill has served on the National Cultural Heritage Committee since 2002 and is currently Artistic Director for Arts Queensland.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2013
© Michael Riley/Copyright Agency, 2020

Accession number: 2013.50.4

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Michael Riley (age 26 in 1986)

Avril Quaill (age 28 in 1986)

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.

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

Beauty and strength

Portraits by Michael Riley

Previous exhibition, 2014

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.

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© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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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.