“We are absolutely delighted to be reopening our doors on 28 November with an exhibition of works themed on the monumental elements of earth, water, fire and air by Aboriginal artists Judy Watson and Yhonnie Scarce,” said Victoria Lynn, Director, TarraWarra Museum of Art.
“The pairing of Watson and Scarce brings together two of Australia’s most lyrical and poignant artists whose works present an interpretation of country where the creation and experience of art is mnemonic for the lived, remembered and inherited history of Aboriginal people.”
“Our reopening comes with a few new measures including timed ticketing, capacity limits and increased cleaning regimes, and we will continue to offer online experiences for those who choose not to visit us in person just yet.”
“The Museum and the wide expanses of the Yarra Valley are the perfect place to recharge and connect with nature and art, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back,” said Ms Lynn.
The exhibition will include Scarce’s spectacular new installation, Cloud Chamber, 2020, featuring one thousand glass yams cascading from above. The work is an evocation of the nuclear test of the ‘Breakaway’ bomb in Maralinga, which sent radioactive clouds across the land of Aboriginal people living in the area.
Watson’s works feature ochres, charcoal and indigo pigments pooled upon washed canvas, revealing Aboriginal histories and following lines of emotional and physical topography that centre on particular places and moments in time.
Exhibition curator, Hetti Perkins, says the artists are concerned essentially with Australia’s ‘secret war’—a battle fought on many fronts from colonial massacres and Stolen Generations through to the British atomic bomb tests at Maralinga.
“The seductive beauty of Watson’s and Scarce’s works belies their powerful message about the sustained campaign of the destruction of country, culture and community in Aboriginal Australia – their work is a kind of ‘tender trap’,” said Ms Perkins. “With the devastating evidence of climate change in Australia, manifest in apocalyptic wildfires and storms, this exhibition delivers an urgent message.”
Looking Glass: Judy Watson and Yhonnie Scarce is only possible in Australia thanks to the generous support of major exhibition partner, The Balnaves Foundation, whose ongoing partnership has enabled TarraWarra Museum of Art to present ambitious summer exhibitions over the past five years.
‘This year marks the sixth year that The Balnaves Foundation has supported TarraWarra Museum of Art to deliver major exhibitions by Australian artists,” said Hamish Balnaves, General Manager and Trustee of The Balnaves Foundation.
“The Foundation is proud to partner in these major endeavours, providing vital opportunities for important Australian artists to be showcased, whilst providing a broad range of audiences access to outstanding arts experiences.”
TarraWarra Museum of Art reopens on Saturday 28 November 2020. For more information, visit: www.twma.com.au for details.
Following its display at TarraWarra Museum of Art, Looking Glass will tour across Australian museums and galleries supported by NETS Victoria: Flinders University Museum of Art (SA): 26 April – 2 July 2021; Cairns Art Gallery (QLD): 12 November 2021 – 20 February 2022; Queensland University of Technology Art Museum (QLD): 12 March – 15 May 2022; Plimsoll Gallery (TAS): 12 August – 23 October 2022; Mildura Arts Centre (VIC): 8 June – 6 August 2023; and Wangaratta Art Gallery (VIC): 26 August – 22 October 2023.
Image: Yhonnie Scarce, Hollowing Earth, 2016 – 17, (detail), blown and hot formed Uranium glass, dimensions variable – courtesy of the artist and THIS IS NO FANTASY + dianne tanzer gallery – photo by Andrew Curtis