I’ve discovered a touring exhibition put together by the Museum of Contemporary Art of photos by one of the hits of the NGA’s Cultural Warriors Triennial – Ricky Maynard.

It’s in Tassie currently (having originated in Paris!) and goes overseas again at the end of June (see dates below). But the Tasmanian stay is veryimportant because the images are all of indigenous Tasmanians, in stark black and white, reflecting perhaps both the world in exile where they live on bleak islands off the coast of Tassie and the harsh struggle they’ve had for survival. Memories are conjured of Ross T Smith’s Hokianga photos, capturing the often challenging faces of dispossesed Maori on New Zealand.

Maynard has not portrayed Truganini clones, petted and feted as the Last Tasmanians. These are fierce survivors on the margins today, captured by one of their own over a 20 year period.

As curator Keith Munroe says, “Maynard shows the physical and social landscape of his people through songlines, corner stones, petroglyphs, massacre sites, middens, meeting places, sacred sites and cultural practices. The works question the ownership of land and history”.

Tasmanian Museum & Gallery in Launceston
to 22 June 2008

DFAT mini tour (Noumea, Port Vila, Wellington)
29 June 08 – Jan 09

Cairns Regional Gallery
20 March – 3 May 2009

MCA, Sydney
mid May – mid August 2009 (dates tbc)

Culture Centre Tjibaou, New Caledonia
2009 (DATES TBC)

Port Macquarie Hastings Gallery
19 Nov 08 – 24 Jan 2010