Michael Riley, Wiradjuri / Kamilaroi / Australian, 1960 - 2004
Wiradjuri / Kamilaroi



Photographic collage

Overall: 15 9/16 × 12 3/16 in. (39.5 × 31 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of Will Owen and Harvey Wagner

© Michael Riley Estate / Licensed by Viscopy


Portfolio / Series Title

They Call Me Niigar


Place Made: Australia, Oceania


21st century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Originally conceived of as a photographic collage, They Call Me Niigarr became a portrait series depicting the artist’s friend David Prosser. The series, in which Michael Riley calls attention to the derogatory names used to describe Indigenous Australians, represents his most overtly political photographic body of work. Looking directly at the camera, as if posing for a mug shot, the sitter wears an Armani suit and bowtie, with the names Golliwog, Dusty, Licorice, Sambo, Vegemite, Bomba, and Niigarr collaged in letters cut out from newsprint overlaying the figure.

From the 2020 exhibition Shifting the Lens: Contemporary Indigenous Australian Photography, curated by Jami C. Powell, Curator of Indigenous Art

Exhibition History

Shifting the Lens: Contemporary Indigenous Australian Photography, Luise and Morton Kaish Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, February 15–June 21, 2020.


The Commercial, Redfern, New South Wales, Australia; sold to Will Owen (1952-2015) and Harvey Wagner (1931-2017), Chapel Hill, North Carolina, July 20, 2013; given to present collection, 2016.

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