Yhonnie Scarce has won the 2017 Guirguis New Art Prize (GNAP)

Art Announcement from Australia. Published by anonymous on Thursday 06 April 2017.

Yhonnie Scarce image

Her work The More Bones the Better, 2016, is an installation comprising six medical beakers, tubing & hand blown glass   Now in its third iteration, GNAP17 will again inspire and challenge audiences with work exhibited across the two city’s public gallery sites – FedUni’s Post Office Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ballarat.

Her work The More Bones the Better, 2016, is an installation comprising six medical beakers, tubing & hand blown glass  

The winning work by Yhonnie Scarce captures the sensitivity to materials she displays throughout her artistic practice. The blown and shattered glass elements are a delicate contrast to the shocking and little discussed histories of Aboriginal exploitation and abuse in the name of science in Australia.

The work challenges us ethically and culturally and in a way that pleads for analysis.

Yhonnie Scarce was born in Woomera (SA) and belongs to the Kokatha and Nukunu peoples. Scarce embraces a non-traditional approach to glass-blowing using glass as more than a mere material. Acting as a lens and a mirror, Scarce reflects and exposes the tragedies of Australia’s colonisation. 

Gordon Morrison, Director of the Art Gallery of Ballarat said: “The Gallery is delighted once more to be the host of the prestigious GNAP prize and exhibition. The eclectic range of artistic modes and imagery will delight some and challenge others.”

As with the previous two Prizes, the finalists for GNAP17 were selected by way of a consultative model, whereby curators at major Australian public galleries were invited to recommend artists for shortlisting. Finalists include Abdul Abdullah and Jumaadi from New South Wales; Joel Arthur and Peter Vandermark from the ACT; Carly Fischer, Natasha Johns-Messenger, Yhonnie Scarce, Esther Stewart and the art collective DAMP (Narelle Desmond, Debra Kunda, Sharon Goodwin and James Lynch) from Victoria; Julia McInerney and Julia Robinson from South Australia; Brian Robinson from Queensland and Erin Coates and Alistair Rowe from Western Australia.

Contemporary art is powerful and important as it relates to contemporary life. Now very much on the national radar, GNAP is a very special biennial event and exhibition, particularly for a regional city.

GNAP17 Includes video, sculpture, painting, photography, textiles, installation and sound, with several hybridised mixed-media installations which explore richly layered ideas surrounding illusion and the ‘gaze’; the domestic and gender issues; indigenous culture and traditions; fantasy, fact and fiction, and life, death and politics.