Drawing Wall #26: James Tylor

When: Sun, 26 Feb – Wed, 24 May 2017

James Tylor has a multicultural heritage comprised of Nunga (Kaurna), Maori (Te Arawa) and European ancestry. Through this lens his work focusses on representations of cultural identity, as well as the weight of the Australian colonial legacy on the present day.

As a photographer, Tylor is known for embracing both experimental and historical processes that span analogue and digital. He employs a medium traditionally used to document Indigenous people in the 19th Century as a means to re-write historical omissions, or reclaim representations of history. Contrary to the idea of the ‘untouched’ landscape (terra nullius), this series of posters address the social erasure that occurred during the European settlement of Australia.

“(Erased Scenes) from an Untouched Landscape (2013-14) highlights the present day absence of Indigenous culture within the Australian landscape and how this phenomenon is a direct result of the impact of European colonisation. The first European colonists forced the local Indigenous people off their traditional lands and into small Christian missions and government reserves. This allowed the new arrivals free access to clear the land for settlements, forestry and agriculture etc. This clearing of the landscape resulted in the removal of Indigenous cultural artifacts and our identity from the Australian landscape.” (JT)

Image: James Tylor, (Erased scenes) From an untouched landscape #4, 2014, inkjet print on hahnemuhle paper with hole removed to a black velvet void, Edition of 5, 50 x 50cm © the artist