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Yhonnie Scarce
Only a mother could love them 2016
handblown glass
dimensions variable
Monash University Collection
Purchased by the Monash Business School 2017

Yhonnie Scarce (Kokatha/Nukunu peoples), who has a Masters from Monash Art, Design and Architecture (MADA), explores the political and emotional potential of glass. Only a Mother Could Love Them is taken from the 2016 series Strontium 90, which continued Scarce’s examination of British nuclear tests conducted in Maralinga, in the far west of South Australia, in the 1950s and 60s. The series explores the after-effects of the testing; its title the name of a fission by-product of nuclear explosions, which seeped into the food chain and lead to the deaths of hundreds of indigenous people in the area, especially infants. The five hand-blown forms resemble bush yams, foods once harvested by indigenous peoples in the country around Maralinga. The blackish-blue, pockmarked surfaces of these small bulbous forms suggest the bruised and damaged bodies of children in the region – the promise of life stunted and deformed.