JAMES TYLOR
TURRALYENDI YERTA SERIES


2017

Artists Notes:

This series explores my connection with Kaurna yerta* (Kaurna land) through learning, researching, documenting and traveling on country. Turralyendi Yerta is a Kaurna phrase "to see yourself in the landscape” or “landscape photography”. In a two year period I travelled over 300 km of the southern part of the Hans Heysen trail that runs parallel along the Kaurna nation boundary line in the Mount Lofty ranges. Combining photographs and traditional Nunga**designs to represent my connection with this Kaurna region of South Australia.

The Heysen trail runs through the Mount Lofty and Flinders ranges from Cape Jervis in the south to Wilpena pound in the north. The Heysen trail named after the renown German Australian colonial landscape painter Sir Hans Heysen. The 1200km long trail passes over many different Nunga nations such as Ramindjeri, Ngarrindjeri, Kaurna, Peramangk, Ngadjuri, Adnyamathanha, and Nukunu lands. I have attempted to acknowledge these Nunga nations throughout this series with traditional language and design.

The photographs of the landscape document different regions, and environments of Kaurna and the surrounding Nunga region. Painting over the European medium of photography with ochre, pipeclay and charcoal with Nunga designs to represent Nunga people’s intellectual, spiritual and physical connection with yerta (Country). The ochre and charcoal on the photographs is a physical presentation of the landscape on the photographs. 

​My Nunga Kaurna family has been in the region of South Australia for 65,000- 80,000 years and has a rich cultural connection to this land. It is a great honour for me as a Kaurna person to learn, practice and walk in my ancestors footsteps. This series acknowledges and pays respect to Nunga people and their rich cultural, spiritual and physical connection to this landscape of South Australia. - James Tylor, 2017 (www.jamestylor.com)

*Yerta means Land, Country and Nation in Kaurna language
**Nunga means South Australian Aboriginal people or person (Nunga language)