The series No More than What You See was photographed during the International Year of the World’s Indigenous People in 1993, and was developed with the support of the South Australian Department of Correctional Facilities. Ricky Maynard was given special access to Yatala Labour Prison, Northfield Prison Complex, Port Augusta Prison and Cadell Training Centre to document the lives of Aboriginal male and female inmates over a six-week period.
Maynard began No More than What You See after returning from New York where he had studied under Mary Ellen Mark at the International Center for Photography. The series was made in response to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (1987–1991), which investigated 99 out of the 124 deaths recorded in police and prison custody from 1983 to 1987. At that time, Aboriginal people made up 14 per cent of the total prison population and were up to 15 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-Aboriginal people. Standing in stark contrast to the Royal Commission’s impersonal statistics are these evocative images by Maynard, which go beyond mere documentation.