Yhonnie Scarce’s work explores the modes of perceptions used as underlying weapons of colonial power to keep Aboriginal people submissive to the hierarchy of colonial rule. Through research into her family’s experiences, Scarce’s glass work engages with the wider issue of containment of Aboriginal people, including the forcible removal of these people from their land and consequent death. Yhonnie Scarce’s work incorporates her personal histories and research with artefacts from the past, hence attempting to highlight the legacy of issues related to white settlement in a dialogue with the present.
Indigenous fruits and vegetables such as bush bananas, bush plums and long yams are metaphoric tools to represent Indigenous people, culture and traditions. Yhonnie Scarce belongs to the Kokatha and Nukunu peoples and in 2004 graduated from the South Australian School of Art with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours), majoring in glassmaking. As Timothy Morell stated in the January-March 2009 edition of Australian Art Collector, Scarce has "pulled the medium of glass right out of its crafty comfort zone and exploited its potential, perhaps for the first time in Australia, to be emotionally and politically expressive".
Press release courtesy THIS IS NO FANTASY dianne tanzer + nicola stein.