MICHAEL RILEY - WARMUN
Another Country, 9 April - 4 May 2013
'ANOTHER COUNTRY' presents a suite of photographs by Michael Riley alongside ochre paintings by three Western Australian (Gija) artists; Mabel Juli, Gordon Barney and Ivy Drill.
The late Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi artist MICHAEL RILEY (1960-2004) is one of the most important Australian indigenous artists of the past two decades. Riley's work investigates and celebrates Aboriginal spirituality and attachment to country, while at the same time bearing witness to the degradation and dispossession caused by white colonisation.
Riley's commitment to the process of reconciliation resulted in a body of work including film, video and large-scale photography. In 2006 he was one of 8 Australian indigenous artists whose work was commissioned for the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris. In 2008 a major retrospective of his work toured from the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra to the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
'Sacrifice' (1992), an edition of which is included in this show, is a series of 15 enigmatic photographs commenting on the conflicting role of the church as both protector of indigenous people and destroyer of traditional culture. The series was featured in the 4th APT (Asia Pacific Triennial) at Queensland Art Gallery in 2002.
Riley passed away in 2004 from complications caused by renal failure. His work is presented in New Zealand in collaboration with Stills Gallery Sydney and The Michael Riley Foundation.
80-year-old MABEL JULI was encouraged to paint by Rover Thomas in the 1980s and since then her work has been acquired by most Australian State collections as well as by the Chartwell Collection at Auckland Art Gallery. It is the second New Zealand exhibition for GORDON BARNEY (age 67) and the first for IVY DRILL (age 72). We are grateful to Warmun Art Centre warmunart.com.au for their assistance in bringing these artists' work to New Zealand.