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.
Featuring a major new commission and drawing upon existing works over the past fifteen years, the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, are collaborating to present a major survey of leading contemporary artist Yhonnie Scarce.
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.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this exhibition contains images of deceased persons.
Developed, and with a new co-commission, in partnership with Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, where the exhibition will travel from 27 March–14 June 2021.
Image: Yhonnie Scarce, ‘Prohibited Zone, Woomera’, 2021, research photograph. Courtesy the artist and THIS IS NO FANTASY, Melbourne.