One artist is breaking free from her usual style to create something a little more bright, after the pandemic period saw so much darkness envelop the world.
Artist Kate Piekutowski exhibits her work in galleries all over Australia including Melbourne, News South Wales, Canberra, Queensland, and Tasmania.
Her solo exhibition, Australiana Dreamer, is showing in Launceston and is based on the artist's memories, dreams and her connections to Australia.
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"This exhibition is very different because it's my first show where it's plant oriented," Piekutowski said.
"I wanted to do something that was a bit brighter and bit warmer [than my previous work].
"I wanted to create a sense of hope in this work."
Piekutowski's previous artwork has often focused on nostalgia of her home in Poland and architecture.
However, during the pandemic the artist felt stuck and vulnerable, unable to travel as she normally would.
Instead, she turned her work to the environment, and found a connection that helped her feel positive and grounded.
"There definitely is this connection to Tasmania and more broadly Australia, but it is about my journey in the last year," Piekutowski said.
"You've got native plants but you also have some jungle plants in [the work exhibited].
"I think there is a lightness in the work - it's very playful."
The artist also used motifs which referenced the concept of home such as Dorothy's red shoes from the Wizard of Oz and a suitcase.
Piekutowski works with etching, but also includes a variety of other mediums in her art.
"I have always been drawn to print making, and the process of print and the textures that it creates," she said.
Piekutowski describes herself as contemporary print maker, as she goes beyond the traditional etching style.
"There is such an unpredictability about this technique," she said.
"It's a bit of a surprise every time, you are never sure what you are going to get."
The exhibition was about a year in the making and took Piekutowski a few months to get together, as she spent hours hand painting each work.
The artist treats her work, both business and art, as a regimented practice, with everything structured.
However, she sometimes needs to remind herself to relax and get creative with her art practice.
"I think it's all about balancing," she said.
Australiana Dreamer opened February 26 at Gallery Pejean - the gallery Piekutowski has exhibited with the longest.
Piekutowski said she was grateful for the gallery's support and if it had not been the gallery's director, Margot Baird, she would not have gone as far in her practice.
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