Kallena Kucers B.Ed., B.SW., M.SW.
Australian Postgraduate Award, The University of Melbourne, LaTrobe University Scholarship for Doctoral Studies.
I have been an artist, a social worker, a researcher and academic and now work to integrate what I have studied and learned with what I have lived.
Earlier phases of my lifetime have included an international career exhibiting artistic ceramics, then years spent as a social worker and academic. In the past I have been diagnosed as"mentally ill", though I was never asked about any experience of trauma I may have had in childhood and what I did tell was simply ignored.
Since that time, much of my life has been spent studying what it is that makes us 'human'. Formally, this has included studies focussing on early human development, from psychodynamic through to biological, neurobiological and psychoneuroimmunological growth, health and mental health, palliative care, trauma, modern developments in psychodynamics and psychotherapy. Through these studies I have gained some insight into how this process of growth develops throughout our lifetimes and how it may also be severely damaged and then, possibly, also healed. These studies have also helped me work to heal myself from the damage caused by the circumstances and trauma of my own earlier life.
At various times I have expressed what I have learned via academic writing and more recently again, art. Now, I also write and speak of the integration of what I have learned professionally and academically with my own lived experiences.
2016-present Employed as social worker / counsellor.
2016 Invited judge, Blue Knot Foundation Photographic Award, 2016.
"Voiceless and Selfless: The Experience of dissociation as a route to discovering the embodied, non-verbalised voice of traumatised children". Paper presentation: "Children's Voices in Contemporary Australia", Symposium hosted by The ARC Centre for Excellence in the Study of Emotions, The University of Melbourne.
Active advocate and educator for trauma informed care for survivors of childhood trauma.
2015 "Fairfield Farewell". Group exhibition: selection of works exhibited over the years at New North/Photonet Galleries.
Photonet Gallery, Fairfield, Melbourne. (June)
"Art Expo 2015 Milano". International Group Exhibition organised by ArtMeet Milano to coincide with Universal Expo 2015,
Milan, Italy. (July - September)
2014 "Outsider Art Today". The Dax Centre Public Program. Panel Discussion, The Dax Centre, Kenneth Myer Building,
The University of Melbourne.
"Raw Emotion". Group exhibition, The Dax Centre Gallery, The University of Melbourne. (October)
2013 Group Exhibition: Photonet Gallery: "Windows". An exhibition for International Women's
Day 8th March. (March)
"The Door In The Dark". Representative works from the Cunningham Dax Collection.
R.M.I.T. Gallery, Melbourne. (September, and ongoing travelling to other locations).
Artist talk: "The Door in The Dark".
2012 "WASHI". Invitational group exhibition showcasing the varied possibilities and qualities of
hand-made Japanese paper (washi) in Fine Art photographic printing. (Mar)
"WASHI" (selection). Exhibited at Manning Clarke House, Canberra. (June)
Solo Exhibition: Manning Clarke House, Canberra: "Edges". (Dec)
2011 Group Exhibition: New North Galleries: "Alison's Daughters". An exhibition to celebrate the
100th anniversary of International Women's Day 8th March. (Mar)
Finalist: Brunswick Street Galleries Photographic Competition: "Picture This". (Apr)
WINNER: New North Prize for Portraiture in Photography. (Oct)
2010 Shortlisted: Brunswick Street Gallery Photographic Prize.
Invited to exhibit: Brunswick Street Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
Solo Exhibition: New North Galleries: "The Sense of Self: Flight". (Aug-Sept)
Shortlisted: Brunswick Street Galleries Art Prize (All Media).
Solo Exhibition: Brunswick Street Galleries: "The Sense of Self: Selected Works". (Oct)
Merit Award: Portrait of an Australian Latvian. (Dec)
2009 Shortlisted: New North Gallery Photographic Prize.
Invited to exhibit: New North Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
2002-present Ongoing intensive psychotherapy following a diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder, ongoing reading, research
and education in trauma, dissociation, infant development and related subjects.
2002-2003 Tutor, Department of Social Work, The University of Melbourne.
1997-2003 Post-graduate study and research, social work and Doctor of Philosophy.
1995-2002 Social worker, various organisations and roles.
1991 The first non-Soviet national to be accepted as a member of the Latvian (Soviet) Artists'
1990-92 Participated in many group exhibitions in Latvia and Germany.
1990 Solo Exhibition: Riga, Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic.
1985-90 Participated in many group exhibitions.