Exhibition: Colony – Frontier Wars – Leah King-Smith & Ricky Maynard

Exhibition: Colony – Frontier Wars – Leah King-Smith & Ricky Maynard

National Gallery of Victoria – Australia. Federation Square. Level three. Until 2 September 2018

Two stand-out sets of photographs by Leah King-Smith and Ricky Maynard are part of this exhibition.

Leah King-Smith’s three large dye destruction prints (cibachrome) are from the Patterns of Connection series 1991.

‘The making of this series was in response to the concept that museum-owned nineteenth-century photographic representations of Aboriginal people are entangled with the colonialist mind-set of possessive ownership. The series proposes the idea that Aboriginal people have spiritual, cultural and political sovereignty, and are not con ned to the indexical nature of photographic documentation, nor to the political and legal system of government that had set out to abolish Aboriginal culture and Country. The images are archival retellings and respect the traditional contexts of names, kinship and Country, all of which, in the Imperialist museum, are tactically reduced in many ways.’


Photograph above: Untitled. From Patterns of Connection series. Dye destruction print. 1991. Leah King-Smith.

Ricky Maynard’s ten silver gelatin prints are from the Portrait of a Distant Land series 2005.

Ricky Maynard uses photography to address historical events and places. He states:

‘In a small forest west of the Bay of Fires our chief Mannalargenna and his people made an agreement with George Augustus Robinson. A temporary stay on the islands of the Bass Strait. If only they knew, not only of their imminent death but the future of the surviving tribe.

‘We, still remember.

‘A site that changed the course of history.’


Ricky Maynard. from Portrait of a Distant Land. Silver gelatin photograph.

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This article was written by
David Tatnall

David Tatnall is a Melbourne based fine art photographer.

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