Missile Park, which takes its title from the open-air museum of satellites, rockets and aircraft located on the Woomera defence base in South Australia, is major new exhibition featuring an ambitious new commission and a survey of work over the past fifteen years by leading Australian contemporary artist Yhonnie Scarce.
Yhonnie Scarce is an artist known for sculptural installations which span architecturally-scaled public art projects to intimately-scaled assemblages replete with personal and cultural histories.
Scarce is a master glass-blower, which she puts to the service of spectacular and spectral installations full of aesthetic, cultural and political significance. Her work also engages the photographic archive and found objects to explore the impact and legacies of colonial and family histories and memory.
Scarce’s work often references the on-going effects of colonisation on Aboriginal people. Her research has explored the impact of nuclear testing and the removal and relocation of Aboriginal people from their homelands and the forcible removal of Aboriginal children from their families.
Family history is central to Scarce’s work, drawing on the experience and strength of her ancestors, and sharing their significant stories from the past in the present.
Her work also engages with the disciplinary forms of colonial institutions and representation – religion, ethnography, medical science, museology, taxonomy – as well as monumental and memorial forms of public art and remembrance.
Her work is both autobiographical and ancestral, ensuring that her family are never forgotten or lost within the labyrinthine administration of the colonial archive.
Scarce was born in Woomera, South Australia in 1973, and belongs to the Kokatha and Nukunu peoples. Recent international exhibitions include Pavilion of Contemporary Art, Milan, Italy 2019, and the Museum of London, Ontario, Canada 2019.
Previous international shows include the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, India, 2018; Personal Structures, collateral exhibition, 55th Venice Biennale, 2013; Galway Art Centre, Ireland 2016; Harvard Art Museum, Massachusetts 2016; and Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Museum, Virginia, USA, 2012.
Recent Australian exhibitions include Looking Glass: Judy Watson and Yhonnie Scarce, Tarrawarra Museum of Art, Melbourne, 2020; A Lightness of Spirit is the Measure of Happiness, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne 2018; The National, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, 2017; The 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial, National Gallery of Australia 2017; 19th Biennale of Sydney, 2014; and a site-specific installation at the Art Gallery of South Australia as part of Tarnanthi Festival of Contemporary and Torres Strait Islander Art, 2016.
Scarce was recently the recipient with Edition Office architects of the prestigious National Gallery of Victoria Architecture Commission in 2019 which was awarded the Australian Institute of Architects Small Projects Award in 2020 and the Small Building of the Year in the 2021 Dezeen Awards.
Curated by Lisa Waup, Max Delany and Liz Nowell, Yhonnie Scarce: Missile Park has been developed by the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in partnership with the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, where the exhibition will be presented from 17 July to 18 September 2021.
Yhonnie Scarce: Missile Park
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, 111 Sturt Street, Southbank (Melbourne)
Exhibition: 27 March – 14 June 2021
For more information, visit: www.acca.melbourne for details.
Image: Yhonnie Scarce, Prohibited Zone, Woomera 2021, research photograph – courtesy the artist and THIS IS NO FANTASY, Melbourne