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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.

Richard Walley

2015
Dr Julie Dowling

synthetic polymer paint and red ochre on canvas (support: 152.5 cm x 121.5 cm)

Richard Walley OAM (b. 1953) is a performer, artist, writer and Indigenous rights advocate. A Nyoongar man, he began working with the Aboriginal Housing Board and the Aboriginal Legal Service in Western Australia in the 1970s. In 1978, he co-founded the Middar Aboriginal Theatre with friends including Ernie Dingo, with whom he devised and performed the very first 'Welcome to Country' in 1976. During the 1980s Walley was involved in stage and television productions, and since 1996 has released several recordings, among them Two tribes (2003), which blends traditional sounds with rap and hip hop. The 1991 NAIDOC Aboriginal Artist of the Year, Walley is a former Chair of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board of the Australia Council. In recent years he has worked as a cultural awareness advisor to BHP and other organisations.

Julie Dowling, an artist of Badimaya, Irish and Scottish Catholic heritage, draws on diverse traditions including European portraiture and Christian icons, mural painting, dotting and Indigenous Australian iconography. Her painting of a kangaroo-skin-cloaked Walley depicts him as a respected elder with his beloved didgeridoo and incorporates ochre sourced from Yamatji country.

Commissioned with funds provided by Neil Archibald and Alan R. Dodge AM, Brandon and Angela Munro, Dr Walter Ong and Graeme Marshall 2015
© Julie Dowling/Copyright Agency, 2021

Artist and subject

Dr Julie Dowling (age 46 in 2015)

Dr Richard Walley OAM (age 62 in 2015)

Subject professions

Activism

Performing arts

Supported by

Alan Dodge AM (3 portraits supported)

Neil Archibald (1 portrait supported)

Walter Ong and Graeme Marshall (1 portrait supported)

Brandon and Angela Munro (1 portrait supported)

Related portraits

1. Jack Thompson, 2013. All Dr Julie Dowling.

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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