Ricky Maynard – Bio

“I saw every picture. I looked into the faces of all those Aboriginal people and it was sad. I started questioning the photographer's role. It changed my life and the way I viewed pictures.”

Ricky Maynard

Ricky Maynard is an Indigenous photographer with a commitment to representing his people, and a belief in the value of documentary photography as a tool to effect social change. An important aspect of Maynard's work is to bring to light the stories of Indigenous people where they have previously been absent or distorted. His photographs mark historical sites, events and community figures of great significance to Tasmanian and mainland Aboriginal people, and speak to their struggle in a subtle, poetic, and powerful way.

Maynard was born in Tasmania, where he lives and works. He came to prominence in 1988 with a photo essay on Aboriginal Mutton bird farmers entitled The Moon-Bird People, which was commissioned for the photographic book After 200 Years: Photographic Essays of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Australia Today (1988).

Major solo exhibitions include Portrait of a Distant Land, which traveled to prominent national and international institutions in Australia, New Caledonia, Vanuatu and New Zealand (2008-2010). The exhibition was accompanied by a monograph published by the Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2007, a retrospective of Maynard’s work, Ricky Maynard 1986 – 2007, was held at the Australian Embassy in Paris. Notable curated exhibitions include The Photograph and Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales (2015); Making Change, National Museum of China (2012) and UNSW Galleries (2013); Half Light: Portraits from Black Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales (2008); Culture Warriors, National Indigenous Art Triennial 07, National Gallery of Australia (2007, touring); Raised By Wolves, Perth International Arts Festival 2007; Busan Biennale 2006, Korea (2006); Indigenart, Fotofreo 2006; and Interesting Times-Focus on Contemporary Australian Art, Museum of Contemporary Art (2006). Maynard's work is held in public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Art Gallery of New South Wales, National Museum of Australia, National Library of Australia, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, and the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.