Some people may make art because it looks pretty or because it imitates life. James Tylor creates art to send a message.
The Wanniassa photographer is one of 68 artists from across Australia selected as finalists in the 2019 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards.
The art awards have been going for almost 30 years, welcoming entries from established and emerging First Nation artists who inspire audiences across Australia.
Tylor's nominated work - which is part of a larger series - focuses on the Menindee water system in far west New South Wales' Murray-Darling Basin where he grew up.
"The work is really just looking at the lake system and how it had been damaged by putting in human-made structures like dams and weirs to regulate water for irrigation," Tylor says.
"Its kind of like the rivers have become worse the more agriculture is around - and in particular, cotton is the worst."
Taken about two months before the massive fish kill, the photographer's work was almost a warning sign of what was to come.
Each photograph features a black and white photo of this "pretty desolate place", focusing on the 40-year-old trees which at times have been surrounded by water. What now remains is dry earth.
The images also have one or two gold geometric shapes overlayed on the photo.
"Basically the gold symbolises the money that has been exchanged over a natural resource like water, and the shape symbolises the dams," Tylor says.
"This work was more personal because it was in a place that I grew up.
"My stepfather was a fisherman so I spent a lot of time [there] when I wasn't at school and I know these places from fishing in them. Now it's dry and there's no water.
"I will do more up and down the river at some point. It's probably less of an issue around here because it's higher in the catchment."
While it discusses an important topic, Tylor says this photographic series is "a bit off topic" compared to some of his other material.
"My practices are usually more around either Australian history, social politics," he says.
"Normally my stuff is about colonisation, history, looking at my European ancestry and Indigenous ancestry and how they play off of each other and the politics around that."
Tylor says it's important to him to reflect social issues in his work and credits his upbringing for his interest in political issues.
"Work that I haven't started yet but want to do is about Australian class and economic class," he says.
"I come from a very low socio-economic family and that has an effect. The majority of artists are from well-off backgrounds.
"So it's been interesting since art has become an industry, as opposed to something that the wealthy could afford to do, at least in western arts.
"In Indigenous arts if you go to a community you will see that a quarter, if not half the community are artists. Where if you look in the cities where it is predominately non-Indigenous it will be like two per cent. It's vastly different."