From an untouched landscape exhibition

craftact

Artist James Tylor highlights the contemporary absence of Aboriginal culture within the Australian landscape and how this phenomenon is a direct result of the impact of European colonisation in From An Untouched Landscape.

As Tylor explains, the first European colonists forced the local Aboriginal people off their traditional lands and into small Christian missions and government reserves. This allowed the new European arrivals free access to clear the land for settlements, forestry and agriculture. This clearing of Aboriginal people from the landscape resulted in the removal of Indigenous cultural artifacts and identity from the Australian landscape.

FROM AN UNTOUCHED

LANDSCAPE

JAMES TYLOR


We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, the

traditional owners of the ACT region, on whose lands we live

and work and where Craft ACT stands. We pay respects to their

Ancestors, Elders, leaders and artists past and present, and

recognise their ongoing connections to Culture and Country. We

also extend our acknowledgement to all First Nations peoples.

One city

200+ events

9—29 November 2020

Exhibition on display at Canberra Contemporary Art Space as part

of the DESIGN Canberra festival (9-29 November 2020).

Tuesday-Sunday, 11am-5pm

44 Queen Elizabeth Terrace, Parkes ACT 2600

Cover image: Removed Scenes From an Untouched Landscape 11

(detail), 2018, inkjet print on hahnemuhle paper with hole removed

to a black velvet void , 50x50cm

James Tylor is represented by Vivien Anderson Gallery, Melbourne

All images: © James Tylor. Courtesy the artist and Vivien Anderson

Gallery, Melbourne


FROM AN UNTOUCHED

LANDSCAPE

JAMES TYLOR

DesignCanberraFestival.com.au

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From an untouched landscape

Exhibition statement

This series highlights the contemporary

absence of Aboriginal cultures within

the Australian landscape and how this

phenomenon is a direct result of the

impact of European colonisation.

The first European colonists forced First

Nations peoples off their traditional

lands into small christian missions and

government reserves across Australia.

This allowed the new European arrivals

free access to clear the land for

settlements, forestry and agriculture. This

clearing of First Nations people resulted

in the removal of Indigenous cultures and

identity from the Australian landscape.

Today, the absence of traditional

Aboriginal cultures within the Australian

landscape continues to be censored by

the processes of colonisation and has left

much of it with the appearance that it was

‘Untouched’ before European arrival.

Page 4-5: Removed Scenes From an Untouched

Landscape 12 (detail), 2018, inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a black velvet void, 50x50cm

Opposite: Removed Scenes From an Untouched

Landscape 4 (detail), 2018, inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a black velvet void , 50x50cm

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Above: Removed Scenes From an Untouched Landscape

8, 2018, inkjet print on hahnemuhle paper with hole

removed to a black velvet void , 50x50cm


Opposite: Removed Scenes From an Untouched

Landscape 9, 2018, inkjet print on hahnemuhle paper

with hole removed to a black velvet void , 50x50cm


10


The Forge of a Nation

Aidan Hartshorn

It was inevitable, from when the first

British footprints impacted the sands on

Gadigal Country in Warrang/Sydney, the

colonial regime would have devastating

effects on anything it encountered. From

1770, for Aboriginal people across the now

named continent “Australia”, there would

be a continuing destructive reign resulting

in the generational loss, devastation and

erasure of people, place and Culture.

These and other systematic incursions

are continual forms of the colonial regime

imposed over Aboriginal land and people;

and for James Tylor, a key component of

his series ‘From an Untouched Landscape’.

With his Aboriginal, Māori and European

heritage, Tylor draws on his and his

Community experiences - where the edges

of his identity meet, and where they are

interrupted by colonial intervention.

This multi-faceted series serve as a

photographic self-portrait for Tylor, while

also highlighting the missing or removed

elements of people and culture from within

the landscapes. Hauntingly these captured

moments provide a point of connection

for other Aboriginal people who identify

with the disrupted imagery and historical

premise behind the series. From the onset

of colonial contact, Aboriginal culture,

identity, and people within colonist texts

and imagery were either consciously or

subconsciously removed, whilst in parallel

the erasure was unfolding in reality. This

perpetuated censorship of Aboriginal

people and culture ultimately erased the

Indigenous presence from, what was then,

a fledgling nation.

From an Untouched Landscape’ provides

an Aboriginal perspective and a counter

narrative to colonial representations of

Aboriginal people and culture that are

still being consumed, unchallenged and

reinforced by local and global audiences

today. Narratives that suggest and only reiterate

the colonial perception of Australia

as anuntouched’ ‘wilderness’ ‘discovered’

by James Cook(ed), ‘underutilised’ by its

First Peoples.

While drawing on these perpetuated

narratives, Tylor’s dark and contrasting

geometric shapes, replace specific areas

in the landscape, evoking the concept of

loss and censorship of Aboriginal people

in colonial narratives. By obstructing and

Opposite: Removed Scenes From an Untouched

Landscape 6 (detail), 2018, inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a black velvet void , 50x50cm

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erasing these areas from within the frame,

using deliberately formulated shapes

as intrusions, they create a disruptive

mechanism, thereby censoring and

preventing the viewer from sighting the

whole landscape. Mysterious in aesthetic,

the use of these voids not only give a

sense of malevolent absence, but also

drive a notion of strong presence. In a lure

like gesture, these dark and mysterious

shapes draw in audiences while holding

authority over the landscape shown in

the photographs, vibrating with a sense

of a powerful and formidable ownership

by Tylor and the unseen Aboriginal

presences.

It is critical that wider audiences begin

to question the prescribe narratives and

histories that colonial systems reiterate.

Aboriginal people did not simply ‘vanish’

from these landscapes we were removed.

Audiences need to know, be reminded,

and told the other side of the story of

“Australia”. the story where Aboriginal

people, culture and our landscape from

the very onset were systematically

removed and erased from these colonial

histories and narratives; removed from

our thousands of years of care for the

progression of the colonial regime to

move forward. Tylor’s series ‘From an

Untouched Landscape’ reiterates our

presence within these spaces of both

history and place while giving voice to our

people which will continue long after are

generation has gone. We as Aboriginal

nations always have and always will be,

still here.

Aidan Hartshorn - Walgalu People of the

Gurmal Nation

Wesfarmers Assistant Curator of Aboriginal

and Torres Strait Islander Art, National

Gallery of Australia

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Opposite: Vanished From an Untouched Landscape 7

(detail), 2018, inkjet print on hahnemuhle paper with hole

removed to a black velvet void , 50x50cm


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Above: Vanished From an Untouched Landscape 11, 2018

inkjet print on hahnemuhle paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm


Above: Vanished From an Untouched Landscape 3, 2018

inkjet print on hahnemuhle paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm


James Tylor

Biography

James Tylor is an Australian multidisciplinary

contemporary visual artist.

He was born in Mildura, Victoria. He

spent his childhood in Menindee in

far west New South Wales, and then

moved to Kununurra and Derby in the

Kimberley region of Western Australia

in his adolescent years. From 2003 to

2008, James trained and worked as a

carpenter in Australia and Denmark.

In 2011 he completed a bachelor of

Visual Arts (Photography) at the South

Australian School of Art in Adelaide and in

2012 he completed Honours in Fine Arts

(Photography) at the Tasmanian School

of Art in Hobart. He returned to Adelaide

in 2013 and completed a Masters in

Visual Arts and Design (Photography) at

the South Australian School of Art. Since

completing his tertiary education he has

researched Indigenous and European

colonial history with a focus on South

Australia. He is an experienced writer,

designer, curator, historian, researcher, art

gallery installation and museum collection

conservator. James currently works as a

professional visual artist in Canberra in the

Australian Capital Territory.

Tylor is a multi-disciplinary visual artist

whose practice explores Australian

environment, culture and social history.

These mediums include photography,

video, painting, drawing, sculpture,

installation, sound, scents and food.

He explores Australian cultural

representations through the perspectives

of his multicultural heritage that

comprises Nunga (Kaurna), Māori (Te

Arawa) and European (English, Scottish,

Irish, Dutch and Norwegian) ancestry.

Tylor’s work focuses largely on the history

of 19th century Australia and its continual

effect on present day issues surrounding

cultural identity and the environment.

His research, writing and artistic practice

has focused most specifically on Kaurna

indigenous culture from the Adelaide

Plains region of South Australia and

more broadly European colonial history

in Southern Australia. His practice also

explores Australian indigenous plants and

the environmental landscape of Southern

Australia.

Opposite: Removed Scenes From an Untouched

Landscape 12 (detail), 2018, inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a black velvet void ,

50x50cm


List of works

1 Removed Scenes From an

Untouched Landscape 1, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$2,500

6 Removed Scenes From an

Untouched Landscape 6, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$2,500

2 Removed Scenes From an

Untouched Landscape 2, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$2,500

7 Removed Scenes From an

Untouched Landscape 7, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$2,500

3 Removed Scenes From an

Untouched Landscape 3, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$2,500

8 Removed Scenes From an

Untouched Landscape 8, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$2,500

4 Removed Scenes From an

Untouched Landscape 4, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$2,500

9 Removed Scenes From an

Untouched Landscape 11, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$2,500

5 Removed Scenes From an

Untouched Landscape 5, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$2,500

10 Removed Scenes From an

Untouched Landscape 12, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$2,500

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11 Removed Scenes From an

Untouched Landscape 11, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$2,500

16 Vanished From an

Untouched Landscape 4, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$1,500

12 Removed Scenes From an

Untouched Landscape 12, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$2,500

17 Vanished From an

Untouched Landscape 5, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$1,500

13 Vanished From an

Untouched Landscape 1, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$1,500

18 Vanished From an

Untouched Landscape 6, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$1,500

14 Vanished From an

Untouched Landscape 2, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$1,500

19 Vanished From an

Untouched Landscape 7, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$1,500

15 Vanished From an

Untouched Landscape 3, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$1,500

20 Vanished From an

Untouched Landscape 8, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$1,500

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List of works

21 Vanished From an

Untouched Landscape 9, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$1,500

26 Wakalti Parry Shield 2018,

Timber & Black Paint, 50 x10 x

10cm

22 Vanished From an

Untouched Landscape 11, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$1,500

27 Wadnawirri Battle Axe

2018, Timber & Black Paint, 60

x 20 x 4cm

23 Vanished From an

Untouched Landscape 12, 2018,

inkjet print on hahnemuhle

paper with hole removed to a

black velvet void , 50x50cm

$1,500

28 Midla 1 Spearthrower

2018, Timber & Black Paint, 50x

5 x 3cm

24 Wirntawirri Barbed Club,

2018, Timber & Black Paint, 50

x 3 x 5cm

29 Midla 2 Spearthrower

2018, Timber & Black Paint, 50x

5 x 3cm

25 25. Murlapaka Broad

Shield, 2018, Timber & Black

Paint, 75 x 25 x 5cm

30 Wadna Boomerang 2018,

Timber & Black Paint, 30 x 20

x 1cm

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List of works

31 Christian Cross 2018,

Timber & Black Paint, 80x 40x

3cm

38 Pistols 2018, Timber &

Black Paint, 30 x 15 x 4cm

32 Axe 2018, Timber & Black

Paint, 60 x 15 x 4cm

39 Wirnta Barbed Spear 2018,

Timber & Black Paint, 200 x 1x

2cm

33 Pick 2018, Timber & Black

Paint, 60 x 40 x 4cm

40 Pangkawirri Heavy Club

2018, Timber & Black Paint, 50 x

5cm x 5cm

34 Shovel 2018, Timber &

Black Paint, 70 x 20 x 4cm

The collection of objects is

available for $10,000

35 Harpoon , Timber & Black

Paint, 80 x 15 x 4cm

36 Musket 2018, Timber &

Black Paint, 70 x 20 x 4cm

37 Knife 2018, Timber & Black

Paint, 25 x 4 x 3cm

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9—29 November

One city

200+ events

DesignCanberraFestival.com.au

DESIGN Canberra is the major outreach activity for Craft ACT: Craft + Design Centre — a not-forprofit

membership based organisation which supports local artists, designers and makers at

every stage of their careers. The festival is delivered in collaboration with industry, associations

and educational institutions committed to the design arts and creative industries in Canberra.

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