Aotearoa My Hawaiki | James Tylor
In his series 'Aotearoa My Hawaiki' James Tylor explores his Polynesian Māori roots and their concept of Hawaiki. For Māori people, Hawaiki is the ancestral homeland where the Māori people migrated from before settling in Aotearoa (New Zealand). For the New Zealand Māori people the physical place of Hawaiki is Avaiki Bui (The Cook Islands). Being an Australian of Māori decedent, James Tylor has always had an spiritual connection to his Aotearoa, because it is the place which his ancestors came before migrating to Australia. "As a Māori Australian, my Hawaiki or ancestral homeland is Aotearoa."
Aotearoa | Land of the long white cloud
James always held a connection to the ideological meaning of Aotearoa 'land of the long white cloud'. As a child this alternative meaning made Tylor imagine a place where the mountains touched the clouds. A very different landscape from what he was used to where he grew up in Australia, surrounded by flat land and clear blue skies. In 'Aotearoa My Hawaiki' James wanted to represent his childhood dreams of mountains touching skies but also his physical disconnect from the landscapes of New Zealand.