Yhonnie Scarce wins Yalingwa Fellowship

Melbourne-based artist takes out $60,000 Yalingwa Fellowship.

Words: Donnalyn Xu

Kokatha and Nukunu artist Yhonnie Scarce has been awarded a $60,000 fellowship for remarkable First Nations artists.

The Yalingwa Fellowship is a major First Peoples visual arts initiative, developed in partnership between Creative Victoria, the Australian Centre of Contemporary Art (ACCA) and TarraWarra Museum of Art. Awarded to a First Nations artist working in South East Australia, the Fellowship aims to celebrate and support contemporary Indigenous practice.

Scarce’s practice often references the political nature of her personal and cultural heritage. She employs the medium of glass to express the ongoing effects of colonial trauma and displacement of Aboriginal peoples, playing with both the political and aesthetic qualities of glass objects. Ranging from smaller pieces to large installations, her work draws on ancestral stories from the past as they are expressed in the present.

Scarce was previously the winner of the 2019 National Gallery of Victoria Architecture Commission, the 2018 Kate Challis RAKA award, and the Indigenous Ceramic Award from the Shepperton Art Museum. She is represented by Melbourne’s This Is No Fantasy.

The Yalingwa Fellowship will allow Scarce to undertake research and build on her practice in 2020. Her upcoming major shows include the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, IKON Gallery, Birmingham, and TarraWarra Museum of Art.

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.

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