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Ricky Maynard: Portrait of a Distant Land

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


04 Jun 2009 to 23 Aug 2009

Curator: Keith Munro

about the exhibition

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.

This exhibition was first presented in 2007 at the Australian Embassy in Paris as part of the inaugural Photoquai Biennale of World Images organised by the Musee du quai Branly. Since then, the exhibition has toured throughout Australia and the Pacific region.


• Musée du quai Branly, Paris: 30 Oct 2007 – 11 Jan 2008
• Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, Hobart: 24 Apr – 22 Jun 2008
• Tjibaou Cultural Centre, Noumea, New Caledonia: 4 Jul – 13 Jul 2008
• French Embassy, Port Vila, Vanuatu: 4 Aug – 16 Aug 2008
• Pataka Museum of Art & Culture, Wellington: 11 Oct 2008 – 15 Feb 2009
• Cairns Regional Gallery: 20 Mar – 3 May 2009
• Port Macquarie Hastings Regional Gallery: 19 Nov 2009 – 24 Jan 2010
• Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Western Australia: 19 Feb – 2 May 2010
• Ian Potter Museum of Art: 21 May – 14 Aug 2011
• Broken Hill Art Gallery: 26 Aug – 9 Oct 2011
• Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute: 19 Nov 2011 – 12 Feb 2012
• Brisbane Powerhouse: 2 Apr – 7 May 2012

This project was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts’ New Australian Stories Initiative.

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