kith and kin
venice biennale 2024
20 april – 24 november 2024
the phrase kith and kin; simply means friends and family but an earlier old english definition for kith dates from the 1300s and originally meant ‘countrymen’ (kith also meant ‘one’s native land’) and kin: ‘family members’. these words gradually took on the present looser sense: friends and family. many indigenous australians, especially those who grew up on country, see the land and other living things as part of their kinship system–the land itself can be a mentor, teacher, parent to a child. the sense of belonging involves everyone and everything and first nations peoples of australia, which, like most indigenous cultures, is deeply rooted in our sacred landscape from birth until death. i was interested in the phrase as it aptly describes the artwork in the pavilion, but i was also interested in the old english meaning of the words as it feels more like a first nations understanding of attachment to place, people and time.
commissioned by creative australia
curated by ellie buttrose
website launching 17 april 2024
until then information on kith and kin can be found here