TRAVELLING is a luxury only a few can enjoy, but thanks to photography, one can now tour the world without shelling out a fortune for a high-priced airfare.

Former UST College of Fine Arts student Kleyr de la Cruz provided a photographic tour of Australia to Filipinos who hadn’t been there in her solo exhibit, “Wandering Soul: A Journey to Australia,” which ran May 1 to 3 at the Podium.

The exhibit showcased photographs of Australia’s picturesque landscapes such as the Blue mountains of Katoomba in New South Wales and the majestic Razorback cliffs of Port Campbell. There are also shots of a Mardi Gras, portraits of her young nephews, and a little girl playing with a water fountain.

Most captivating was “Food Art,” about the Royal Easter show. Like a scene out of a dream, it shows the silhouettes of two children playing at sunset, surrounded by a bunch of fruits and vegetables. The colors, black and orange, perfectly blended, evoking an atmosphere that was both pleasant and mysterious at the same time.

Dela Cruz denied the image was digitally enhanced, explaining that the silhouettes of the kids came from carton cutouts, placed on top of a pile of fruits and vegetables, mostly pumpkins.

Another interesting photo was “Man at Pitt Street,” which showed an artist’s chalk-drawing on a sidewalk. The shot created an “art-within-an-art” effect, and De la Cruz said this was her favorite among the 50 photos in exhibit.

The exhibit was more of a documentation of moments that best define life in Australia, a reason why the Australian embassy in Manila supported it.

Noteworthy about the exhibit was that only 17 out of 50 photos were landmark shots, something unusual for travel photography collections.

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“I just wanted to share my photos,” said De la Cruz, admitting that she had not originally intended to put up an exhibit. It only occurred to her that her four trips to Australia had given her the opportunity to take beautiful photos enough for an exhibit, she explained.

She said her love for Australia doesn’t make her less of a Filipino.

“I’ve been around the Philippines and participated in photo exhibits showcasing its beauty,” said de la Cruz, clarifying that she had already savored her native land’s beauty before moving on to appreciate foreign geographies.

She said the exhibit showed Australia’s cleanliness, effective public service, and patriotism — traits she wanted Filipinos to possess.

“I wanted to bring here the good life [I found] there,” De la Cruz said.

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