Scarce was born in Woomera, South Australia, and belongs to the Kokatha and Nukunu peoples. She is one of the first contemporary Australian artists to explore the political and aesthetic power of glass, describing her work as ‘politically motivated and emotionally driven’ and the work often references the on-going effects of colonisation on Aboriginal people.
South Australia is home to over 25 underground and open cut mines, many of which are operating close to occupied areas. Some of the substances that are being excavated in these mines are Zinc, Copper, Gold, Iron Ore, Coal and Uranium.
“Uranium glass has been used in this work to represent the sickness that this material inflicts on those who have been in contact with it,” says Scarce. “But also the illness that is left behind once the earth has been opened and its contents have been exposed. Each ‘bush banana’ form identifies the desecration of country, gaping holes and scarred surfaces, all of which is the aftermath of the disrespectful behaviour that mining inflicts on the planet.”
This powerful new work has been commissioned by the Museum to be presented as part of CLIMARTE’s ART+CLIMATE=CHANGE 2017 – a festival of exhibitions and events harnessing the creative power of the Arts to inform, engage and inspire action on climate change.
Yhonnie Scarce holds a Master of Fine Arts from Monash University, and her work can be seen in the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, The Art Gallery of South Australia, National Gallery Australia, Flinders University Art Museum, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, and the University of South Australia.
2016 saw Scarce exhibit at Harvard Art Museum, Massachusetts, Galway Art Centre, Ireland and hold a major solo show at THIS IS NO FANTASY + dianne tanzer gallery, Melbourne. In 2015 Scarce exhibited internationally in Hong Kong, Vancouver, Berlin, Japan and Italy and was involved in several major projects around Australia including the Palimpsest Biennale, Mildura and a site specific installation at the Art Gallery of South Australia as part of Tarnanthi Festival of Contemporary and Torres Strait Islander Art.
Scarce’s work was curated into the 19th Biennale of Sydney in 2014, and in 2013 she exhibited in the 55th Venice Biennale collateral exhibition Personal Structures, Melbourne Now at the National Gallery of Victoria, Heartland at the Art Gallery of South Australia, the Western Australian Indigenous Art Awards and at the Australian Experimental Art Foundation. In 2012 Scarce held a residency and exhibited at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Museum, University of Virginia, USA and participated in Aboriginal art symposiums at Seattle Art Museum and the Hood Museum, New Hampshire.
Yhonnie Scarce: Hollowing Earth
TarraWarra Museum of Art, 311 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road, Healesville
Exhibition: 18 February-14 May 2017
Admission fees apply
For more information, visit: www.twma.com.au for details.
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