Family History

Kendrea’s family history research began in 2008, the catalyst being the passing of her grandfather. This has been and promises to continue as an amazing journey of storying; prying details from the systems that hoard them, negotiating ethics and emotions and laws, and presenting a version. And then another. And another.

  • The Asylum Gene

    The Asylum Gene

    The Asylum Gene, a 2023 SALA exhibition on madness by Kendrea Rhodes.

  • The Stringybark Short Stories Award

    The Stringybark Short Stories Award

    SCAB is the story of a young policeman caught up in the 1923 riots and police strikes in Melbourne, Australia. SCAB received the Highly Commended Award and was published in the 2020 Stringybark short stories anthology, Close To Heaven.

  • You Can’t Choose Your Family

    You Can’t Choose Your Family

    These are the very words that set me on the well-travelled family history trail. Ducking and diving through swathes of digitised records, crawling in and out of rabbit holes lined with red herrings and eventually uncovering a number of families that you probably wouldn’t choose for yourself.

  • Validation is good for you

    Validation is good for you

    Every now and then someone comes along, someone neutral, and they find something, a quality within your work. This isn’t your family or best friend, this is someone who’s first connection to you is through your art.

  • Mentally Difficult

    Mentally Difficult

    She was reported to be ‘deficient’ and ‘mentally difficult’; a description that could apply to me at various times of my own life. But when did this apparent state of mind develop? Did it already exist or was it a control mechanism? Was it because they wouldn’t return her children?

  • Abandoned original artwork

    Abandoned original artwork

    Making many copies of my own artwork provided freedom—I found myself taking risks because I wasn’t worried about losing the original drawing.

  • Forgotten Australians – a story

    Forgotten Australians – a story

    ‘You can’t choose your family,’ the 89-year-old man said to his five-year-old great grandson.

  • Forgotten Australians

    Forgotten Australians

    ‘Abandoned’ – by Kendrea Rhodes  a snippet from a story about a boy lost in institutional care in the 1920s We left him to rest, or so we thought. In the hospital lobby I realized my son was missing, so we retraced our steps back to my grandfather’s room. The picture was memorable: an 89…

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