This collaborative project brings together a selection of artworks by EGLAF Arts Collective, a multifaceted interdisciplinary arts project designed to promote and exhibit a variety of young and established artists. This exhibition explores a range of complex meanings and interpretations associated with ‘kith’.
In essence, the term refers to that which is known, even if only known to some degree. Over the ages, kith has taken on an array of meanings. In its earliest uses kith referred to knowledge of something, but common use in this context died out during the 15th century. By the early 16th century, its reference to one’s native land had also come and gone, though kith was still used as a synonym for kinsfolk, as it has since before the 12th century. Later looser applications included reference to fellow countrymen, neighbours, friends or acquaintances.
In literacy, the term has often been used in the well-known phrase kith and kin, referring to country and relatives or friends and family respectively. Therefore, where the latter kin refers to one’s inner circle, so to speak, kith describes a larger more extended network of connections and shared attributes or knowledge. With this in mind, contemporary connotations with kith may include contacts, colleagues, associates, stakeholders, followers, collaborators, ancestors, colonial heritage, globalisation, the internet, free knowledge and social media networks, to name but a few.
This exhibition celebrates and explores the vast nature of human connectedness and our urgent pursuit of knowledge and the expansion. The works showcased is varied in terms of its medium and concept, where each artist’s approach is subjective. Through the layering of different approaches, interpretations and experiences, a culture of inclusiveness and openness to healthy discourse in encouraged. The complexity and variety of meanings associated with the term kith articulates the potential for even further interpretation. Active viewer participation and discourse through social interaction within the exhibition space ultimately leads to the accumulation of more meaning, knowledge and connectedness. These attributes of kith are the main anchors in this exhibition.