James Tylor: From an Untouched Landscape
“The removal of Aboriginal cultures due to colonisation has left the appearance that Australia was ‘Untouched’ before European arrival.”
In his artistic practice, James Tylor highlights under-told and often unseen histories of Aboriginal peoples. The landmass now known as Australia has been known by many names to many distinct peoples. Reflecting this, Tylor takes an expansive approach to landscape, incorporating his Kaurna knowledge into its presentation, and to the photographic medium, through use of technologies old and new. In Tylor’s hands, photography, once used to survey Aboriginal lands and peoples, becomes a way to indigenize landscapes.
From an Untouched Landscape is Indigenous exploration of place, reframing landscape on and near the Kaurna Yarta Nation’s traditional homelands, where Tylor’s Kaurna Miyurna people have traced their roots since time immemorial. The exhibition includes three photographic series, We Call This Place ... Kaurna Yarta (2020), (Removed Scenes) From an Untouched Landscape (2018), and (Vanished Scenes) From an Untouched Landscape (2018), as well as objects from (Deleted Scenes) From an Untouched Landscape (2019). We Call This Place ... Kaurna Yarta inserts Kaurna Miyurna place names, etched on sweeping daguerreotype views of coasts and hills. The continuing series From an Untouched Landscape focuses on significant sites for Aboriginal peoples and sites of colonial encounters and violence. Removed Scenes and Vanished Scenes show these sites only partially, with black velvet shapes blocking the full view. To further contextualize these works, Tylor has sculpted wooden Kaurna objects, such as shields and spears, and colonial-era tools, such as guns and harpoons which, like the camera itself, contributed to the project of colonization.
James Tylor (b. 1986) is a multidisciplinary artist with Nunga (Kaurna Miyurna), Māori (Te Arawa), and European ancestry. Trained as a carpenter as well as a photographer, Tylor takes his practice beyond those mediums to communicate his understanding of history and the contemporary moment and to contribute to the revitalization of his Kaurna culture.
This is the first solo exhibition of Tylor’s work in the United States, curated by Marina Tyquiengco (CHamoru), Assistant Curator of Native American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Generously sponsored by Embassy of Australia, Washington, DC, and the Honourable Nick Greiner, Australian Consul-General, New York.
Hear from the Artist
James Tylor introduces From an Untouched Landscape in this video.
Virtual 360 Tour
Explore From an Untouched Landscapevirtually, complete with all audio, text, and full-size images.
- Wall text and images are available to view by clicking the red dots next to the works. To see the work in greater detail, simply click on the image for it to expand to full screen.
- For audio, click on the yellow dots. You can listen within the Matterport.
Hear the artist speak about his work. To listen onsite, please use our mobile tour at eastman.oncell.com.
James Tylor highlights under-told and often unseen histories of Aboriginal peoples.
As you view the exhibition online or in-person, consider the questions and prompts on this card, and think about the work within the context of the places you inhabit.