'Lineage' exhibtion, M2 gallery, Sydney Australia.

Published by: Ian Kingsford-Smith | 7-Oct-2016
The exhibition consists of a life size male adult astride a chair with his three babies positioned at his feet. The adult male stares into the void, his distant gaze demonstrates his psychological detachment from his offspring
Kingsford-Smith has painted a complex range of narratives upon the figures, which represent life narratives, historic myths associated with procreation, the cycle of life, ancestor worship, archetypal experiences (love, despair, faith, etc) and more personal levels of experience. In this exhibition Kingsford-Smith explores the complex reasons why people choose to bear children and challenges the assumption that the perpetuation of genetic bloodlines is the most meaningful form of human connection and lineage possible.

In keeping with the pictorial strategies adopted in his previous work, Kingsford-Smith has combined pictorial narratives associated with the perspective of the individual with those associated with collective understandings of the parent/child relationship. He weaves narratives that reference ancient myths that valorise fertility and virility as ways of valuing people with narratives that question the moral justifications of procreation. This strategy emphasises the role of historical narrative in determining our understanding of the family unit, lineage and which members of society we view as valuable. Hovering in the background of the work is the cultural spectre of the history of advocating or deterring procreation for the sake of the nation state. The four works are life size.

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