|A common place: Portraits of Moree Murries 1990
Portraits of Moree Murries was important in that it let me show a community of Aboriginal people in the country. There are two Aboriginal missions on Moree and I got people from both those missions together and photographed them. People walked in front of the camera and sat however they wanted to sit, and showed themselves however they wanted to show themselves. It was set up with an old backdrop put up against the tree and people would just come and sit and pose. Some people weren’t in front of the camera for a minute – not even a minute sometimes – and snap; next one, snap. And I suppose all them people were related to me. It’s important because it was a record of a community at that time, and a few of those people have died now, passed away. MR
Before Yarns from the Talbragar Reserve 1998, which documented residents of Michael Riley’s father’s home town of Dubbo, this series did the same for Riley’s mother’s community of Moree, New South Wales. A common place: Portraits of Moree Murries shows friends, family, relatives and community personalities in an honest and straightforward style, showing people just as they were; a rare glimpse into rural New South Wales Aboriginal life. Shot with just a plain cloth backdrop, inspired by the work of renowned American portraiture photographer Irving Penn, A common place: Portraits of Moree Murries toured to the United Kingdom, exhibiting at Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London, in 1991 and is now held in the collection of Moree Plains Gallery, New South Wales.
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