In the relatively short amount of time since she graduated from the South Australian School of Art in 2004, Yhonnie Scarce has made an impressive mark on the Australian art scene. She was the 2008 South Australian recipient of the Qantas Foundation Encouragement for Australian Contemporary Art Award, as well as being a finalist in the 2006 Telstra Aboriginal and Islander Contemporary Art Award. Scarce belongs to the Kokatha and Nukunu peoples from South Australia.
For the first time, Canberra audiences will be treated to three of Scarce’s most iconic works in Ectopia. Each of these pieces explores the history of persecution of the Aboriginal culture as a result of colonization. Her work is highly political, but these views are often expressed through the personal, as Scarce uses her own family history and lived experience to expose larger cultural and social issues within Australia.
Excerpt from catalogue essay by Vanessa Wright; photograph by Brenton McGeachie.