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Yhonnie Scarce

The Light of Day

Yhonnie Scarce Fri 2 Feb – Sun 19 May The Art Gallery of Western Australia FREE
  • Australia
  • World Premiere
Fri 2 Feb – Sun 19 May at The Art Gallery of Western Australia, FREE

Presented in association with The Art Gallery of Western Australia

One of Australia’s leading contemporary artists, Yhonnie Scarce is known for her large-scale, haunting glass installations that reveal connections to her ancestry and her desire to bring the darkest shadows of Australia's past into the direct light of day.

Kokatha and Nukunu artist Scarce illuminates a catastrophic global tale, framed within a story of painful personal connection to the impact of nuclear testing in her birthplace.

Through thirty evocative installations and intimate glass works, Scarce makes visible the impact of colonisation on First Nations families and communities told through the lens of archival imagery from her photographic collection interwoven with handmade glass objects.

The fiercely intellectual and uncompromising narratives of Scarce's practice transcend the local, and as the world again tilts towards potentially lethal global nuclear conflict, The Light of Day offers both a cautionary tale and contemplative hope for the future.

Celebrated internationally, Scarce brings her powerful and luminous work to AGWA in this world premiere as part of Perth Festival.

Yhonnie Scarce was born in Woomera, South Australia, and belongs to the Kokatha and Nukunu peoples. Yhonnie’s interdisciplinary practice explores the political nature and aesthetic qualities of glass and photography. Her work illuminates the history and impact of nuclear testing within the Woomera Prohibited Area in South Australia, referencing the on-going impact of the removal and relocation of Aboriginal people from their homelands as a result. Family history is central to her work; the artist revealing narratives critiquing the indentured labour her family members experienced. Yhonnie’s professional profile has risen exponentially in recent years. In 2022 she was exhibited in IKON Gallery Birmingham, Palais De Tokyo, Paris and has been acquired by the Foundation Opale, Switzerland. Remember Royalty (2018) was exhibited in ‘A Year In Art: Australia 1992’ at the Tate, London, and Missile Park (2021) exhibited at Gropius Bau Berlin. There have also been major solo exhibitions at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and the Institute of Modern Art. Her work is now held in most State galleries as well as Tate Gallery London and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Flinders University Art Museum, Shepparton Art Museum and the University of South Australia.

Time & Location

Fri 2 Feb – Sun 19 May

The Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth Cultural Centre, Roe St, Northbridge / Yandilup


Free Event

Gallery Opening Times

Wed – Mon
10am – 5pm

Event Partner

Presented in association with


  • Yhonnie Scarce, 'Death Zephyr (detail)', 2016, hand-blown glass, nylon and steel. Courtesy Art Gallery of New South Wales © Yhonnie Scarce Image © Art Gallery of New South Wales
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