Yhonnie Scarce shows Missile Park

Yhonnie Scarce, 'Prohibited Zone', Woomera 2021, research photograph. Courtesy the artist and THIS IS NO FANTASY, Melbourne

A major new exhibition of work by Yhonnie Scarce has opened at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA).

Titled, Missile Park, the exhibition will also show directly afterwards at the Institute of Modern Art (IMA) in Brisbane in July. The exhibition will include a series of new commissions plus a comprehensive survey of the past fifteen years' work from this leading Australian contemporary artist.

Yhonnie Scarce is 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.

Yhonnie Scarce was born in Woomera, South Australia in 1973, and belongs to the Kokatha and Nukunu peoples. Scarce was recently the recipient with Edition Office architects of the prestigious National Gallery of Victoria Architecture Commission 2019 which was also awarded the Australian Institute of Architects Small projects Award in 2020.

Image: Yhonnie Scarce, Death Zephyr, 2015. Hand blown glass yams, nylon and steel armature. Courtesy: the artist and Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.

Scarce’s work often references the on-going effects of colonisation on Aboriginal people. Her research has explored the impact of 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.

Recent international exhibitions include projects at IKON Gallery, Birmingham, 2020; Pavilion of Contemporary Art, Milan, Italy 2019; Museum of London, Ontario, Canada 2019; National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi, India, 2018; 55th Venice Biennale collateral exhibition Personal Structures 2013; Galway Art Centre, Ireland 2016; Harvard Art Museum, Massachusetts 2016; Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Museum, Virginia, USA, 2012.

Yhonnie Scarce, from the series 'Remember Royalty' 2018. Installation view, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. Courtesy the artist and This is No Fantasy + Dianne Tanzer Gallery (Photograph: Andrew Curtis)

Recent Australian exhibitions include Looking Glass: Yhonnie Scarce and Judy Watson, TarraWarra Museum of Art 2020; Monster Theatres, 2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australia; A Lightness of Spirit is the Measure of Happiness, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne 2018; The National, Art Gallery of NSW, 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.

Yhonnie Scarce is the 2020 recipient of the Yalingwa Fellowship, awarded for her significant contribution to the field of contemporary art.

Yhonnie Scarce: Missile Park has been developed by ACCA and IMA directors Max Delany and Liz Nowell working in collaboration with guest curator Lisa Waup.


Location: Australian Centre for Contemporary Art - 111 Sturt Street, Southbank VIC 3006

Dates: 27 March – 14 June 2021

Time: Tue–Fri; 10am–5pm, Sat–Sun; 11am–5pm

ACCA Website