UNICORNS emerging from sea foam, brave knights contemplating poetry, an angel being swept into the dusk sky by jet-black balloons.
Ballarat photographer Aldona Kmiec’s latest exhibition – Dreamscapes – sounds like pure fantasy.
But the Poland-born artist insists her work is not about escapism – quite the opposite in fact.
“We don’t need escapism, we need stronger decisions and models of strong characters to draw inspiration from,” she said.
“What I’ve been trying to do is find people who inspire me personally and who live a life that’s worth focusing on and worth showing. Some of those images depict strong characters and brave characters.”
Kmiec said she hoped to portray the importance of following your goals and dreams.
“For example, the unicorn picture and the photo of the emerging dancer, there’s a lot of courage in those photos, a lot of encouragement to try to reach your dreams, your goals for yourself,” she said.
“It also talks about the magic of childhood, especially the unicorn is such an elusive character. Ask any girl between 10 and 12 or younger, and they think it’s magical to see a unicorn.”
Kmiec immigrated to Australia in 2009, moving to Ballarat a year later. Since then, she said her work has evolved to focusing on her vision of Australia and the importance of showcasing the multicultural community as well as regional Victoria.
“It was very important for me to use landscapes of regional Victoria...showcasing the beautiful landscapes that are all around us,” she said.
“I feel really at home here. Ballarat reminds me of Europe in some parts and I wanted to be in a smaller place. I really love it here.”
Kmiec said while her dreamy visions weren’t escapist, they certainly involved more than a touch of magic.
“Always, magic happens. In all those photos, all the magic happened exactly when I needed it.”
Dreamscapes is exhibiting now at the Unicorn Lane Gallery until August 18. For more details, visit www.aldonakmiec.com/dreamscapes/