Ricky Maynard is a documentary photographer of Tasmanian Aboriginal descent based on Flinders Island in the Bass Strait, between Tasmania and mainland Australia. Through his photographs Maynard offers a journey of alternative perspectives and cultural insights, encapsulating an honest and deeply felt interpretation of his people and the land they inhabit.
This exhibition presented his developing body of work Portrait of a Distant Land, which he began in 2005, as well as a selection of images from five earlier series, The Moonbird People(1985-88), No More Than What You See (1993), Urban Diary (1997), In The Footsteps Of Others (2003) and Returning To Places That Name Us (2000), tracing key aspects of the artist’s practice to 2009.
Portrait of a Distant Land consists of photographs of Tasmania’s physical and social landscapes, following song lines and ochre trails, tribal movements and historical displacement routes, creating a form of visual diary derived from collective oral histories. This deeply personal project records cultural and historical sites significant to Maynard’s people, the Ben Lomond and Cape Portland peoples of Tasmania.
Keith Munro, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney