‘In the suspended, wraith-like clouds of Yhonnie Scarce’s installation ‘Death Zephyr’ 2017 we are temporarily blinded to the lingering effects of the British nuclear tests on Aboriginal land across much of inland South Australia in the 1950s. On close inspection, the beauty of the work is subsumed by a deeper sense of national unease, of the excesses of blind ethno-nationalism, the flagrant disregard for human life and indifference to environmental destruction of which nations are capable.’ Daniel Browning

Yhonnie Scarce works predominantly in glass. Her work considers the scientific research and concepts that have impacted and have ongoing effects on Aboriginal people. In this major installation Scare employs small glass yams, which she feels represent people, to create a vast, wind-swept form that refers to the poisonous clouds that rained across Maralinga, SA as the British and Australian governments undertook nuclear testing there in the 1950s and 1960 forever altering the landscape and dramatically effecting people’s lives.


  • Title: Death Zephyr
  • Creator: Yhonnie Scarce
  • Date Created: 2017
  • Location: Melbourne/Victoria/Australia
  • Physical Dimensions: dimensions variable
  • Type: Installation
  • Rights: Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactor's Group 2017
  • External Link: https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/14.2017.a-c
  • Medium: hand blown glass yams, nylon and steel armature
  • Signature & Date: Not signed. Not dated.
  • Artist Country: Australia

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