Michael Riley (1960-2004) was a ground-breaking Australian artist born in Dubbo. Riley’s photographic and film works explore Indigenous identity, spirituality, symbolism and social history, often with pathos and humour. Cloud was the last body of work produced by the artist before his untimely passing in 2004. The works have become Riley’s most well-known images and have been exhibited all over the world.
Through the generosity of John Armati OAM (1940-2017) and his family, the Western Plains Cultural Centre was able to acquire the complete series of 10 works that comprise Cloud. Armati was a highly respected businessman who grew up in Dubbo, eventually becoming Managing Director of Macquarie Publications in 1962. Whilst he was a resident of Sydney in the latter part of his life, he still cared deeply for his home town, donating funds to a number of institutions in Dubbo including Western Plains Cultural Centre.