Courtesy de l’artiste et THIS IS NO FANTASY

Yhonnie Scarce


Born 1973 in Woomera (Australie), lives and works in Naarm/Melbourne (Australie).

Of Kokatha and Nukunu Aboriginal origin, Yhonnie Scarce works on the political nature of glass. Her recent creations are particularly interested in the crystallisation of desert sand following the nuclear tests carried out by the United Kingdom in South Australia from 1956 to 1963, contaminating soldiers, Aboriginal populations, and the surrounding nature in the process. This research resonates with the nuclear tests carried out by France in the Pacific: from 1966 to 1996, one hundred and ninety-three nuclear tests were organized in French Polynesia. The repercussions of these tests carried out remotely from their promoters are still felt today in the concerned territories.

Yhonnie Scarce imagines a new work, which evokes both a radioactive cloud and a waterfall. Hundreds of hand-blown glass yams (a primary vegetable in Aboriginal food and a symbol of the connection to country) hang from the ceiling, evoking inverted water drops and revealing the numerous human and ecological losses associated with nuclear explosions – so hot that they turned the ground into glass. This solid and fragile installation, made of a resilient material, pays tribute to the human and non-human victims of nuclear colonisation.

In co-production with the Ikon Gallery (Birmingham).

Yhonnie Scarce is represented by the gallery THIS IS NO FANTASY (Melbourne).