10
Jul
09

Exhibition: ‘Ricky Maynard: Portrait of a Distant Land’ at Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Sydney

Exhibition dates: 4th June – 23rd August, 2009

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Ricky Maynard. Coming Home from the series Portrait of a Distant Land 2005

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Ricky Maynard
Coming Home
from the series Portrait of a Distant Land
2005

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Ricky Maynard. 'The Healing Garden, Wybalenna, Flinders Island, Tasmania' from the series 'Portrait of a Distant Land' 2005

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Ricky Maynard
The Healing Garden, Wybalenna, Flinders Island, Tasmania
from the series Portrait of a Distant Land
2005

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“This winter the Museum of Contemporary Art presents a major survey of photographic works by documentary photographer Ricky Maynard, encompassing more than two decades of the artist’s practice.

Portrait of a Distant Land features more than 60 evocative and captivating photographic works, drawn from six bodies of work, which document the lives and culture of Maynard’s people, the Ben Lomond and Cape Portland peoples of Tasmania.

The exhibition is curated by MCA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Programs Keith Munro and is presented at the MCA from 4 June until 23 August 2009. Born in Launceston, Tasmania in 1953 Maynard is a self taught documentary photographer now based on Flinders Island in the Bass Strait between Tasmania and mainland Australia.

Maynard first came to prominence in the late 1980s with a photographic essay about Aboriginal mutton bird farmers and he has continued to document physical and social landscapes which form a visual record and representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia.

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Ricky Maynard. 'Arthur, Wik Elder' from the series 'Returning to Places that Name Us' 2000

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Ricky Maynard
Arthur, Wik Elder
from the series Returning to Places that Name Us
2000

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Ricky Maynard. 'Gladys Tybingoomba' from the series 'Returning To Places That Name Us Photograph' 2001

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Ricky Maynard
Gladys Tybingoomba
from the series Returning To Places That Name Us
2001

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Ricky Maynard. 'Custodians' from the series 'Portrait of a Distant Land' 2007

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Ricky Maynard
Custodians
from the series Portrait of a Distant Land
2007

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“For me, photographs have always been personal and I hope to convey the intimacy of a diary. Photography has the ability to tell stories about the world and how the photograph has power to frame a culture,” said Maynard, describing his practice.

The works presented in Portrait of a Distant Land survey a broad range of themes and issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today. It includes photographs which document sites significant to Maynard’s people: ranging from serenely beautiful landscapes which follow the song lines, tribal movements and historical displacement routes of his ancestors, to the confrontational and emotionally-charged images of Indigenous people incarcerated in the South Australian prison system.

The six photographic series by Maynard which are featured in the exhibition are The Moonbird People (1985-88), No More Than What You See (1993), Urban Diary (1997), In The Footsteps of Others (2003), Returning To Places That Name Us (2000) and Portrait of a Distant Land (2005- ). Together these works create a form of visual diary of multiple landscapes derived from collective oral histories of Maynard’s people.”

Press release from the MCA website

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Ricky Maynard. 'Vansittart Island' from the series 'Portrait of a Distant Land' 2007

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Ricky Maynard
Vansittart Island
from the series Portrait of a Distant Land
2007

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Ricky Maynard. 'The Spit' from the series 'Portrait of a Distant Land' 2007

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Ricky Maynard
The Spit
from the series Portrait of a Distant Land
2007

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Ricky Maynard. The Mission  Portrait of a Distant Land 2007

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Ricky Maynard
The Mission
from the series Portrait of a Distant Land
2007

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Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA)
140 George Street
The Rocks, Sydney, Australia

Opening hours: 11 – 5pm daily

MCA website

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1 Response to “Exhibition: ‘Ricky Maynard: Portrait of a Distant Land’ at Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), Sydney”



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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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