By Jed Lanyon
Indigenous artist Yhonnie Scarce has been awarded the Yalingwa Fellowship, a $60,000 award for First Nations artists who have made an outstanding contribution to creative practice in the arts community.
Ms Scarce, a Kokatha and Nukunu woman, has built a national and international reputation as a glass blower. From small pieces through to major public installations, her artworks are both autobiographical and ancestral in the way they explore and respond to Aboriginal culture and history.
The announcement was made by Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley at the TarraWarra Museum of Art on Tuesday 11 February.
“This Fellowship recognises Yhonnie’s incredible works and career so far and her ongoing leadership in up-skilling the next generation of First Peoples artists,” Mr Foley said.
Ms Scarce said that she was very privileged to win the fellowship and described the achievement as a group effort.
TarraWarra Museum of Art director Victoria Lynn said Ms Scarce is an incredibly deserving recipient of the prestigious award, which recognises her outstanding career as an artist, teacher and a mentor to emerging First Peoples artists.
“The Yalingwa Fellowship will allow Yhonnie to enter into a new phase of research and will provide the support to develop and expand her immense creative vision.”
Launched in 2017, Yalingwa is a Woiwurrung word that means both ‘day’ and ‘light’. The program is delivered in partnership with TarraWarra and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) and is led by an advisory group that brings the gallery teams together with First Peoples community members and creatives.
In addition to the Fellowship, Yalingwa presents a major exhibition of First Peoples contemporary art. First Peoples curator Stacie Piper has been appointed to work on the next exhibition which will open at TarraWarra in 2021.