Aldona Kmiec is a Polish-born Australian photographic artist based in Ballarat. After finishing her Photography Studies in London, she has relocated to Australia and launched her artistic practice.
Her story and artworks have been featured on The Design Files, The Block Shop, B H & G and Australian Country Magazine. She is a finalist of Maggie Diaz Photography Prize for Women, Bowness Photography Prize, Winner of Eureka Art Award, Head On Photo Festival and more.
Here’s her short story…
I grew up in a small village in Poland during the fall of communism and the start of democracy. Our family nearly lost everything during WWII. When I was a kid, nobody had much money to go out. Our social life happened at a house or while working, or on a street outside your home. No internet or phones, just close-knit community. I had a second-hand piano accordion. Together with my childhood friend, I would play to anyone who was passing by.
As a child I made a promise to myself to learn foreign languages, and to one day leave my village to explore the world. It was a ridiculous dream, but it was my dream. The world I grew up in was the world where men played cards, women cooked food and children listened to stories about the war, memories veiled in a thick smoke of cigarettes. I wish I had a camera back then, when I hid behind the bed, with my eyes wide open from fear and excitement, listening to stories being told, stories of war relived once more.