Kaurna people

Mildura, Victoria, Australia 1986


These are our objects (bong) 2015 Description: becquerel daguerreotype

Collection Title: These Are Our Objects
Place made: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Materials & Technique: photographs, becquerel daguerreotype

Dimensions: Photograph 12.7 h x 10.1 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased with the assistance of the National Gallery of Australia Foundation ATSI Fund 2015
Accession No: NGA 2015.1176.2
Image rights: © James Tylor. Courtesy the artist and Stills Gallery, Sydney
  • Drug addiction does not discriminate based on race, gender, wealth and class, and illegal drug use is now relatively common, affecting all levels of Australian society (both directly and indirectly). But, despite the non-discriminant reach of drug addiction, our society sadly still ostracises those in our community who have become addicts.

    Speaking from personal experience, drug users can feel alienated from their community—particularly as this contentious topic often results in a strong reluctance to seriously and openly discuss the use of illegal substances without oversimplifying the issue or persecuting those that have fallen prey to drug abuse. This has lead to a lack of support for people who want or need help to recover.

    It is important to talk about the use of illegal drugs in Australia and to encourage people in our community to seek help before addiction results in harm to themselves or others. As someone who has had problems with drug addiction in the past, I am aware of the issues that can ensue.

    My 2015 series of daguerreotypes These are our objects seeks to create a fresh dialogue through images of homemade drug paraphernalia created from everyday objects and used during the years I was addicted to marijuana and amphetamines. I hope by sharing my story it will help to break down the stigma associated with drug use and create a greater awareness of the hazardous nature of its accessibility.

    James Tylor, artist

    in artonview, issue 85, Autumn 2016