In 2019, Kokatha and Nukunu woman, Yhonnie Scarce, and Melbourne architecture studio, Edition Office, came together to create their monumental collaboration In Absence as the fifth NGV Architecture Commission. Housed in the NGV’s Grollo Equiset Garden from November 2019 to July 2020, the work was a significant commission within the NGV’s ongoing initiative to present temporary works of thought-provoking and immersive architecture.

The commissioned work comprised of a nine-meter-high and ten-meter-wide cylindrical structure of dark-stained Tasmanian hardwood split by a narrow walkway and housing two chambers, each filled with hundreds of handblown glass murnong yams. Inviting audiences to better understand the fallacy of the premise of Terra Nullius, which declared Australia as an emptiness awaiting ownership, the work celebrates and memorialises over 3000 generations of Indigenous design, industry and agriculture.

Four years since its conception, Craft has teamed up with RMIT Culture to bring the creative team behind the commission back together again to reflect on the project through a live conversation at The Capitol. Led by Ewan McEoin, Senior Curator of Contemporary Design and Architecture at the National Gallery of Victoria, the conversation with artist Yhonnie Scarce and the Edition Office architects will consider the potential of craft practices within architectural contexts and the impact of significant commissions for the individuals involved as well as the industry at large.

Date: 6:00-7:00pm Thursday, October 12, 2023
Location: The Capitol, 113 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000.
Cost: $10

This program is presented in collaboration with the RMIT Culture as a part of Craft Contemporary 2023.

Learn more about In Absence.

Top image credit: The 2019 NGV Architecture Commission, In Absence by Yhonnie Scarce and Edition Office. Image by Ben Hosking.
Speaker image credits: Janelle Low, Annika Kafkaloudis, Eugene Hyland.