NADOC ’86

I think it was the first group show of Aboriginal artists/photographers in the country, so it was an important show in that respect and people still refer to it. The photographers were all Aboriginal and they were dictating what they wanted to show and how they wanted to show images of their own people. Mine were portraits. I wanted to show these amazing-looking women in a light that they would not have been shown in before. MR

Not specifically a series of photographs, these five portraits, named after his sitters Avril, Kristina, Linda, Maria and Tracey, were shown in the groundbreaking exhibition NADOC ’86 exhibition of Aboriginal and Islander photographers at the Aboriginal Artists Gallery, Sydney, for National Aborigines Day Observance Committee (now NAIDOC, National Aborigines and Islander Day Observance Committee) Day in 1986. The images are portraits of Michael Riley’s friends and peers and were driven by Riley’s desire to show the sophistication and intelligence of the urban Aboriginal community around him. Two of his sitters, Avril Quaill and Tracey Moffatt, were fellow founding members of Sydney’s organisation to showcase urban-based Indigenous art, Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative.

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