Michael RILEY, Untitled, from the series cloud [bible] Enlarge 1 /1

Michael RILEY

Wiradjuri/Kamilaroi peoples

Australia 1960 – 2004

Untitled, from the series cloud [bible] 2000, printed 2005 Description: Bible

Collection Title: Cloud series
Place made: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Materials & Technique: photographs, chromogenic pigment print Printed on Epson Stylus Pro 9600, by Sandy Barnard

Primary Insc: Ed: 1/5
Dimensions: 110.0 h x 155.0 w cm framed (overall) 131.2 h x 177 w x 6.5 d cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 2005
Accession No: NGA 2005.294.1
Image rights: Reproduced courtesy of the Michael Riley Foundation and Viscopy

cloud was Riley’s final work, and his first to fully embrace digital photography. Across a series of ten beautiful and deeply elegiac images of objects floating in a cloudy sky, Riley considered the complex question of belonging in Australia. A floating boomerang, a cow, a feather, a locust, an angel and a bird’s wing each reflect on the relationship between Indigenous Australians, Christianity (Riley was raised a Catholic) and attachment to Country. In this image, an open bible faces towards the earth, remembering the Christian missionaries who once held such influence with Riley’s community around Dubbo.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra