In our reading group meeting last night we discussed the NADOC (National Aboriginal Day Observance Committee) 1986 Aboriginal and Islander Photographers Exhibition in relation to Brenda Croft’s me-take exhibition essay (PCP), “I see deadly people” and Glenn Pilkington’s FLASH comment, “Branded: The Indigenous Aesthetic.” The Aboriginal and Islander Photographers Exhibition was the first to showcase exclusively Indigenous photo-media, organized by Anthony (Ace) Bourke and co-curated by Tracey Moffatt. This exhibition included works by ten artists including Mervyn Bishop, Brenda Croft, Ellen José, Ricky Maynard, Michael Riley, and Tracey Moffatt.
For more about this exhibition, see Gael Newton’s, Senior Curator, Australian and International Photography National Gallery of Australia, essay “Tracey Moffatt: World of Dreamings Traditional and modern art of Australia” that accompanied the exhibition of the same name at the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg in early 2000.
Michael RILEY Kristina, 1986
From the NGA website:
I’m just trying to break away from the normal, everyday image of Aboriginal people and putting it up on a wall so people can see them. I’ve sold about nine pictures: Darrell, Maria (Polly), Kristina, one of Avril. These are 20” x 24” prints on Record Rapid [fibre-based paper]. Actually Max Dupain bought one of Maria (Polly), which was good to have him come up and admire a photo of mine and like it enough to buy it. It was very flattering, really … I think he saw it at Glen Murcutt’s house who’d bought one of Maria (Polly) and Kristina.
Maria (Polly) is a natural beauty, without any makeup, beautiful neck, eyes.
Avril is very soft, quietly sophisticated.
Michael Riley, ‘Liking what I do’, interview with Andrew Dewdney (1989), in Racism, representation and photography, Chippendale: Inner City Education Centre, 1993, pp. 141–4.