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vintage black and white photograph with family members seated on lobster traps, over which a vintage purse has been laid featuring a gold clasp in the shape of a hand

Blood Ties
Laurie Langford + Mike Ondrovcik


Relationship status: It’s complicated.

Just ask Jan Brady of The Brady Bunch or Michael Jackson of The Jackson Five, or Paolo Gucci. Family creates you and defines you and, sometimes, destroys you.

Family members form our first society and we learn how to function within it. Whether we remain close or distance ourselves, the push and pull of our first society is strong and we both fight and embrace our Blood Ties for our entire lives.

And yet we crave more. We live in societies that have become more connected through social media, yet people report feeling more unfulfilled and isolated. This feeling of isolation drives some people to conduct extensive Family research, fuelling a quest to gather more people of their own kind. Everyone becomes a Junior Genealogist, seeking famous lost relatives. The glory attained by distant blood relatives grants bragging rights at backyard barbeques.

Conversely, a relative may share the same last name but their very being instills fear and loathing. So, how do we fit them all in, these Foul and Favoured? With every entitled King, there are far more relatives who eked out a hardscrabble existence. For every Saint, there are dirty rotten scoundrels. In past or present and for better or for worse, they are a part of Family. This is the reality of Blood Ties.

Blood Ties is an exhibition about discovery, acknowledgement, and acceptance.

And pride.

- Laurie Langford, 2022

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