Artist Statement

“The Truth is that we all are fragmented. Some more than others. That there are thousand pieces to one’s story and so we should not be judgmental. What you see is what you get but if you look deeper you’ll see more.”

Giant Mosaic Portraits by Artist Aldona Kmiec

Interview with the Artist Aldona Kmiec

1. What surprised you about the Project?

It was great to see the project going ahead. Brave, bold, unseen before on such a large-scale and it was great to see twelve artists mainly from the Ballarat region undertaking it. What also surprised me was how difficult it was at times to face your own feelings, sadness, empathy to deliver your best. This project only deserves the best.

2. How has this experience affected your art?

“Everyone’s journey is different; A red carpet is rolled out for some.Whilst others trod under the floorboards, Away from the lights and the sun… “Reading these words for the first time it was clear on what I’m on about. I only wanted to deliver the best.  And I’ve struggled with the outcome for some time as I thought it wasn’t good enough for what I’ve embarked on. I had to ‘feel me in it’ and now I can say I did.I stood out for the project in conversations with other people, who were mortified by the idea of spending time with disadvantaged people. “There are better things to do” or “it is too dangerous”. People too often lack empathy in their thinking unable to experience others in their pain.

3. What truth is revealed in the art you have created?

Truth that we all are fragmented. Some more then others and they’re the ones who need help. That there are thousand pieces to one’s story and so we should not be judgmental. What you see is what you get but if you look deeper you’ll see more.

4. Is there a commonality between you the artist and the mission of community service agency?

Under the Floorboards Mosaic Portraits by Artist Aldona Kmiec Exhibition Art Gallery Ballarat
Artwork by Aldona Kmiec

I strongly believe so. In my work I strive for the best outcomes and my work is also based around the community. I was very moved by experience of working with the great people you have in your organisation and I felt really humbled by how inviting they were and what they were doing for others. The understanding, compassion, heart, strength and HOPE they have shown in everyday’s work were outstanding. I also really like to thank them for accepting me into their working lives, accepting a different culture, my European accent and me as a curious invader of their space.

Under the Floorboards is a collaborative project in which renowned Western District artists created works based on their experiences at one of the diverse programs provided by Uniting Care Ballarat. Under the Floorboards commenced on Monday 30th July 2012 with twelve artist taking up month long residencies. This unique artistic project culminated in a gala event on November 16th 2013 with an art auction and performance of the works with proceeds going to fund Uniting Care services. Exhibition Opening took place on October 2nd 2013 at 6.30pm Art Gallery Ballarat. Exhibition will be open until October 20th.

ABC Ballarat is the project media partner.