About the Exhibition

In The Process of Healing is a site-specific immersive installation of photography, sound and space which attempts to remove the stigma around trauma and normalise conversations that are difficult.

‘In the Process of Healing’ tells a story of hope and survival. Responding to the stories of institutional abuse and high rates of suicide, I have worked with a local refugee family to create a moving and respectful collection that reflects the process of healing.

“My vision is to give hope. To document the invisible lives, drowned by society’s attempts to maintain normalcy through keeping their eyes shut, pretending that lives don’t exist, referring to them as numbers. These are important conversations to have in our community and this exhibition provides a contemplative and physical space for conversations about trauma and moving forward in life.”

The room with the ‘Chair of Nails’ is terrifyingly effective and heightens a physical sense of traumatic experience within the body and the mind. The floating images on fabric depict a family of refugees with their faces hidden, conveying a sense of fear, hope and the journey towards healing.

“Very theatrical, stimulating. When you go to the room, the ‘Chair of nails’ is very stark, but very evocative too. Most theatrically exciting think for me was coming out of this room and having to walk through the room with photographs again, and see them in a different emotional state of mind. Beautifully theatrically presented. ” Al Wunder 


Venue: Ballarat Welcome Centre 145 Victoria Street, Ballarat Convent | Exhibition Hours 19 Aug – 17 Sep 2017 Open Everyday 10am–4pm

Official Launch August 26th 2-4pm
Welcome: Tina Banitska, Director, Convent Gallery Daylesford 
Words: Nathan Curnow, Poet
Guest singer: Rose Nakakeeto Ssekimpi
Catering: Adam Brown, Argyle Catering
Wine: Michael Unwin Wines
Champagne: Bon Ap Petit Bistro, Brunswick
SBS Radio Polish: Interview with the artist (in Polish)

About the Artist

Born and raised in Poland, Aldona Kmiec migrated to the UK in 2004 and to Australia in 2009. She lives and works between Ballarat and Melbourne. Her artistic practice extends across photography, installation and community projects that aim to create conversations about local social issues.

In the Process of Healing Ballarat Foto Biennale Aldona Kmiec Convent
In the process of healing | Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2017

View the full exhibition gallery here.

Let’s break the silence on shame.

If you are struggling and aren’t sure who to turn to, check out Kids Helpline or Beyond Blue. You can also call Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14.

Please also visit this Resource Directory that contains information about more than 70 art and healing programs and organisations.