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Archie Moore’s ‘kith and kin’ wins Golden Lion at Venice Biennale

Creative Australia is delighted to announce that Archie Moore’s exhibition kith and kin at the Australia Pavilion has been awarded the prestigious Golden Lion for Best National Participation at La Biennale de Venezia 2024. This is the first time in history an Australian artist has received this accolade.

In kith and kin, Moore transforms the Australia Pavilion with an expansive, genealogical chart spanning 65,000 years. kith and kin is curated by Ellie Buttrose and commissioned by Creative Australia.

Gennaro Sangiuliano Ministro della Cultura_Australia_Ph Andrea Avezzu

Gennaro Sangiuliano Ministro della Cultura Australia. Photo: Andrea Avezzu

The artwork bridges the personal and the political. While many of the stories in kith and kin are specific to the artist’s family, they mirror narratives throughout the world. Through this lens Moore highlights our shared ancestry and humanity: through the interconnectedness of people, place and time.

Awarding the accolade, the jury of the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia said:

“In this quiet, impactful pavilion, Archie Moore worked for months to hand-draw in chalk a monumental First Nation family tree. Thus 65,000 years of history (both recorded and lost) are inscribed on the dark walls and ceiling, inviting viewers to fill in the blanks and grasp the inherent fragility of this mournful archive. The official documents drawn up by the State float in a moat of water. The result of Moore’s intensive research, these documents reflect the high rates of incarceration of First Nations people.

“This installation stands out for its strong aesthetic, its lyricism and its invocation of a shared loss of an occluded past. With his inventory of thousands of names, Moore also offers a glimmer of the possibility of recovery.”

On receiving this award, Archie Moore said:

“As the water flows through the canals of Venice to the lagoon, then to the Adriatic Sea, it then travels to the oceans and to the rest of the world – enveloping the continent of Australia – connecting us all here on Earth. Aboriginal kinship systems include all living things from the environment in a larger network of relatedness, the land itself can be a mentor or a parent to a child. We are all one and share a responsibility of care to all living things now and into the future.

“I am very grateful for this accolade; it makes me feel honoured to be rewarded for the hard work one does. I am grateful to everyone who has always been part of my journey – from my kith to my kin – to my Creative Australia team and everyone else back home and those of the Venice lagoon.”

Creative Australia Executive Director, First Nations Arts and Culture, Franchesca Cubillo said:

“We at Creative Australia have been honoured to commission Archie Moore’s kith and kin, curated by Ellie Buttrose. For the exhibition to receive this remarkable international recognition has made us all incredibly proud and deeply moved. We congratulate Archie on his historic accolade and celebrate this moment of global recognition of the depth of his artistic expression.

“kith and kin is an extraordinary history painting of unprecedented scale. The celestial map of names traces Archie’s Kamilaroi and Bigambul relations over 65,000 years, demonstrating the resilience and strength of the First Nations people of Australia. Through this powerful and compelling artwork, Archie asserts Indigenous sovereignty and celebrates the ongoing vitality of First Nations knowledge systems and kinship.”

Curator Ellie Buttrose, of kith and kin, said:

“Archie Moore profoundly affects those who listen. kith and kin enfolds all of us into Archie’s family. To be kin is to carry responsibilities; duties for each other and all living things throughout time. This commendation is a celebration of Archie’s generosity – it is an honour to witness his art.”

Australian Government Minister for the Arts, the Honourable Tony Burke MP, said:

“Archie’s work kith and kin shows the power of Australian art and storytelling going right back to the first sunrise. Australian stories help us to understand ourselves, know more about each other, and let the world get to know us. That’s exactly what this artwork does.

“When I announced the Government’s support for the new pavilion for the Venice Biennale back in 2013, we could only hope that one day one of our artists would receive this level of recognition. Congratulations to Archie on this well-deserved recognition.”


Exhibition details:

Address: Australia Pavilion, Giardini di Castello 30122

Press preview days: 17 – 19 April 2024

Exhibition dates: 20 April – 24 November 2024

Exhibition website: kithandkin.me

Photo credit:
Archie Moore in kith and kin 2024 / Australia Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2024 / Photographer Andrea Rossetti / © the artist / Image courtesy of the artist and The Commercial

Press images: via Dropbox here

Exhibition announcement press release: here


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About Archie Moore

Kamilaroi/Bigambul artist Archie Moore (b. 1970, Toowoomba) works across media in conceptual, research-based portrayals of self and national histories. His ongoing interests include key signifiers of identity (skin, language, smell, home, genealogy, flags), the borders of intercultural understanding and misunderstanding and the wider concerns of racism.

Recent solo exhibitions by Archie include: Pillors of Democracy, 2023, Cairns Art Gallery; Dwelling (Victorian Issue), 2022, Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne; The Colour Line: Archie Moore & W.E.B. Du Bois, 2021, University of New South Wales Galleries, Sydney; and Archie Moore 1970–2018, 2018, Griffith University Art Museum, Brisbane. Significant recent group exhibitions comprise: Ever Present: First Peoples Art of Australia, 2022, National Gallery of Singapore; Embodied Knowledge: Queensland Contemporary Art, 2022, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; UN/LEARNING AUSTRALIA, 2021, Seoul Museum of Art; Indigenous Art Triennial, 2017, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; The National: New Australian Art, 2017, Carriageworks, Sydney; and Biennale of Sydney, 2016, Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney. In 2018, Archie’s United Neytions was permanently installed at Sydney Airport’s International Terminal.

Archie’s artworks are held in major public collections across Australia including: Artbank; Griffith University Art Museum, Brisbane; Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne; Murray Art Museum Albury; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Portrait Gallery, Canberra; Newcastle Art Gallery; Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane; Queensland University of Technology Art Museum, Brisbane; University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane; and University of Sydney; and University of Technology Sydney. His art is also held in the collection of Fondation Opale, Lens, Switzerland.

Archie Moore is represented by The Commercial, Sydney.

About Ellie Buttrose

How aesthetic debates inform the political imaginary is the subject of Ellie Buttrose’s curatorial projects and critical writing.

Ellie is a Curator at the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane. With Katina Davidson, Curator, Indigenous Australian Art, she co-curated Embodied Knowledge, 2022, that featured the centrepiece commission Inert State, 2022, by Archie Moore. Ellie recently curated: Living Patterns, 2023, focused on artists who deploy abstraction as a political as well as formal device; Work, Work, Work, 2019, about the entwinement of civic and artistic labour; and Limitless Horizon: Vertical Perspective, 2017, which rethought the impact of drone vision on contemporary art via the bird’s-eye view paintings of First Nations Australian songlines and the floating perspective in Chinese and Japanese landscape painting traditions. Ellie is a member of the curatorial team for The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, 2024, 2021 and 2018.

In 2020, 2019 and 2018, Ellie was a guest curator for the Brisbane International Film Festival; she curated Material Place: Reconsidering Australian Landscapes, 2019, at University of New South Wales Galleries, Sydney, which considered how experiments with artistic media reflect changing attitudes towards the environment; and served on the curatorium for Cosmopolis: Collective Intelligence, 2017, at Centre Pompidou, Paris, that showcased artistic practices centred on knowledge sharing and the development of social fabric.

About the selection process

The artist commissioned to present in the Australia Pavilion at the Biennale Arte is selected by an advisory panel of leading Australian and international visual arts professionals, who advise the commissioner, Creative Australia. The panel membership changes for every edition of the Biennale. The panel selecting the artist for 2024 included:

  • Stephen Gilchrist, Associate Professor, School of Indigenous Studies, The University of Western Australia
  • Carol Yinghua Lu, Director Inside Out Museum, China and co-curator of the Yokohama Triennial 2024
  • Victoria Lynn, Director TarraWarra Museum of Art, Australia
  • Hammad Nassar, independent curator, writer and strategic advisor, United Kingdom
  • Colin Walker, Director Art Gallery of Western Australia

About the Commissioner: Creative Australia

Creative Australia is the Australian Government’s principal arts investment and advisory body.

With artists at the heart of what we do, we invest in creative talent and stimulate the market for Australian stories to be told on a national and international scale, sharing our rich culture with the world. We do this because art and creativity define us, recording what we have been and what we might yet become. As a nation, creativity connects us and benefits us all.

We are proud of Creative Australia’s 50-year history of investing in First Nations Arts and Culture and supporting First Nations self-determination. Creative Australia will build on that legacy in 2024 when the inaugural First Nations-led Board will be appointed.

Creative Australia is for the artist.

Creative Australia is for us all.

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