Tyler Jackson

Tyler Jackson, Sentinel, 2022

Stainless steel, radiata pine, charred using the shou-sugi ban techique, LED lighting, acrylic glass, Raspberry Pi mini computer. 5000 x 600mm.

The natural form of the monolith belies one of the more enduring yet transmutable mythologies of our culture. Originally used to describe large, naturally occurring stone blocks, the term was later applied to similar forms erected for religious and ritual purposes by ancient worshippers and finally became synonymous with extra-terrestrial life thanks to science-fiction texts like Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’.

This history makes the monolith a bridge between geology, cosmology, and technology, converging in Wellington-based artist Tyler Jackson’s interpretation of the form.

A charred timber cladding contrasts with LED lights inset into the sculpture’s body. These change colour according to an internal computer programme and sensors which detect nearby movements and changes in weather systems, giving the pillar unnerving omniscience over its surroundings.

Whether organic, archaeological, or altogether alien, Jackson’s monolith, in the form’s tradition, is profoundly mysterious, carrying the promise, both daunting and liberating, of an as-of-yet unknown elsewhere.


Lives and works in Wellington.

Tyler Jackson counts light and colour theory and industrial and post-minimalist art among his primary influences. All sit on the cusp of materiality, which is the position from which the young artist examines ideas such as perception and existentialism.

Jackson graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) from Massey University in 2016. In the same year, he co-founded the artist-run initiative and gallery, play_station, in Wellington.

His recent solo exhibitions include ‘LIGHT-HAUS’, play_station, Wellington (2020). He has also presented work in several group shows and public art festivals, including ‘Modulating Monolith’ for SCAPE, Christchurch (2019), and as part of ‘Courtship’ at Aotearoa Art Fair (2019/20).

Instagram @tylerjackson.space