We're thrilled to announce that Yhonnie Scarce's 'Remember Royalty' 2018 has been jointly acquired by the Tate London and Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) Sydney as part of the International Joint Acquisition Program for contemporary Australian art.
Since its inception, the program has made possible the acquisition of 35 artworks by 24 artists for the Collections of Tate and MCA. This ground-breaking acquisition program which has brought the work of Australian artists to the attention of a global public was made possible through a $2.75 million corporate gift from the Qantas Foundation in 2015.
Yhonnie Scarce’s practice explores the legacies of historical events and government policies in Australia, foregrounding an Indigenous perspective and connection to Country. Remember Royalty (2018) is a large installation comprising four suspended portraits and three accompanying sculptures, arranged to evoke a kind of shrine. The black and white photographic images are drawn from family archives and depict Scarce’s great-great-grandmother Melba c.1917; her great-great-grandfather William c.1920 (Melba’s husband); her grandmother Fanny c.1950; and other family members in a group portrait taken at the Koonibba Mission c.1911, where they lived under duress. Each image has been radically enlarged and screen-printed onto a sheet or blanket of roughly the same vintage as the original photographs. Scarce has paired the portraits with offerings in the form of hand-blown glass objects and found items. The work is unique within her output for the way it synthesises sculptural, photographic, and textile elements. It is further distinguished by an overtly personal narrative and the use of photographic images from Scarce’s family archive.
Yhonnie's work has been acquired alongside works by Simryn Gill, Mabel Juli, Noŋgirrŋa Marawili, and Judy Watson. The jointly acquired artworks by Mabel Juli, Noŋgirrŋa Marawili, Judy Watson and Yhonnie Scarce, will soon go on display for the first time at Tate Modern in London as part of their expanded rehang of the acclaimed collection exhibition A Year in Art: Australia 1992, on view until 14 May 2023.