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The Light of Day

February 01, 2024

AGWA is proud to launch Perth Festival’s visual arts headline show, Yhonnie Scarce: The Light of Day.

Opening tomorrow, Yhonnie Scarce: The Light of Day brings together the largest-ever ensemble of collected glass and mixed-media works in Australia from internationally recognised Kokatha and Nukunu artist Yhonnie Scarce.

Thirty large-scale installations and intimate glass works illuminate a catastrophic global narrative, framed within a story of personal connection to the impact of nuclear testing in Yhonnie’s birthplace of Woomera, South Australia.

The result is an incredible and spectacular exhibition of hand-blown glass objects by the artist.

At the Design Store, we celebrate glass works by other Australian artists. We invite you to reflect on the ancient art of glassblowing and how contemporary artists are reinventing and revitalising the magic of this craft.

Lucy Simpson

Yuwaalaraay wirringgaa woman Lucy Simpson is a contemporary artist and the creative director, principal designer and maker behind Gaawaa Miyay, a First Nations process-led studio.

Hand-crafted in collaboration with artisans at Canberra Glassworks, each glass Dhanggal is individually cast from an 80-year-old freshwater mussel shell found in the drought-ridden Murray Darling Basin. This shell, a remnant of over 2 million mussels lost from 2017-2020 when the drought was at its worst, serves as a tactile record of time and place.

Each Dhanggal ranges from translucent to opaque, with the collection subtly conveying the fragility of our natural world, emphasising the importance of balance and belonging.

A UNSW Art and Design graduate and current PhD Candidate at the University of Technology Sydney, Lucy’s creative practice and research focuses on the continuing role of First Nations design as a tool and conduit to baayangalibiyaay/interconnected notions of wellbeing (people and place).

AGWA exclusively stocks this collection in Western Australia

Emma Lashmar

In a salute to the visually stunning exhibition Yhonnie Scarce: The Light of Day, the Design Store has recently received the new works of WA glass artist Emma Lashmar.

Emma trained in the Fine Arts (Glass) program at Monash University while Yhonnie was there completing her Master of Fine Arts.

Deeply moved by Yhonnie’s installations, Emma reflects on her craft and how she practices glassblowing. Her new collection Sand, ash, salt, heat, is what Emma calls “a small gesture acknowledging ugly and uncomfortable truths being brought to light about human relations with one another and the earth’s resources”.

In 2024, Emma wants to move away from reliance on burning natural gas by building an independent micro-studio, powered mainly by solar-offset electricity. She is also committed to recycling waste glass and working towards alternatives that reduce harm.

Exhibition Monograph | $75

Featuring essays by Timmah Ball, Kelly Gellatly, Natalie Harkin and Tamsin Hong, with an interview between curator Clothilde Bullen and Yhonnie Scarce, this monograph considers the compelling and complex practice of the artist through documented field trips, photographic imagery and written contributions, making visible the stories of scientific experimentation, indentured labour and nuclear testing – and shining a light on Australia’s dark history.

Ettore Sottsass | $110

Ettore Sottsass was a 20th-century Italian architect noted for designing furniture, jewellery, glass, lighting, home and office wares, and numerous buildings and interiors — often defined by bold colours. Considered a maverick of design, Ettore’s achievements include the Olivetti Valentine typewriter, successful collaborations with Alessi and fantastical glass works and sculptures.

Don’t miss your chance to meet Yhonnie Scarce in person. The artist will be signing copies of Yhonnie Scarce: The Light of Day this Saturday, February 3, from 12.30-1 pm in the AGWA foyer.

Yhonnie Scarce Thunder Raining Poison 2016-17. Hand-blown glass, wire, metal armature, 500 cm (height), dimensions otherwise variable. Collection: National Gallery of Australia. Purchased 2016. This acquisition has been supported by Susan Armitage in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum. © Yhonnie Scarce. Yhonnie Scarce Death Zephyr 2016. Hand-blown glass, nylon and steel, dimensions variable. Art Gallery of New South Wales, purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Art Collection Benefactors 2017. © Yhonnie Scarce. Image © Art Gallery of New South Wales 14.2017.a-c.