In an exploration of the self, societies and the spaces surrounding them, over 50 featured exhibitions will showcase a stunning array of photography when Head On Photo Festival returns from April 29 – May 22, 2016.
One of the world’s largest and most prestigious photo festivals, Head On has grown significantly since launching in 2010 with 70 events, to over 150 in 2015. This year, over 50 featured exhibitions have been nominated as highlights of the Festival.
Festival Director, Moshe Rosenzvieg says “We have some incredible exhibitions from photographers from all over the world this year. Although we’ll have over 150 events taking place, we’ve curated over 50 exhibitions to feature as highlight events for the Festival. These exhibitions represent some of the best work we’ve seen by professional and emerging photographers and we’re so pleased to bring them to Sydney”.
Some of the stand-out works include Toby Burrows series, Nothing to Lose, an exploration and celebration of movement and self as he captures plus sized performers mid dance. This exploration of deeper character is also carried in Anna Fawcus’ award-winning MIXED EMOTION(M.E.). The stunning photo series exposes an inner self portrait by highlighting the more personal aspects of the self, particularly those inherited from one’s upbringing.
One of the defining features of Head On Photo Festival is its emphasis on Australian talent, meaning some of the best professional and emerging photographers from our own shores will be on display. Australian photographers accompanying Toby Burrows in this year’s festival include John Feely, Claire Reynolds, Amy Crawley and Natalie McComas.
Suburban life in Australia is observed by Crawley in her series Suburban Endurance, a record of Victoria’s rural residents that contrasts and compares to the artists’ own relationship with these spaces. Similarly, Claire Reynolds utilises a character to mirror personal experience in The Lonesome Cowboy, which represents her own story of leaving the cosy confines of a country upbringing, and facing the loneliness of life in crowded cities.
Jon Franks’ Australians also examines the Australian identity in a gritty, honest exploration of modern-day life that can be found in the backstreets and shadows of our cities and rural centres, revealing stories of humanity and its place in our world.
On the opposing end of the geographic spectrum, Hiro Tanaka and Natan Dvir identify the life and vibrancy of New York City in each of their exhibitions. Tanaka’s Around 42nd and 7th explores the universal attraction of Times Square and the ability for a city space to compress layers of rich culture into a collective sensual experience. In Coming Soon, Dvir explores the graphic relationship between the city and its inhabitants with a visual documentation of the billboards that both dominate the urban landscape and blend into the background of a bustling fast-paced culture.
Kodak City, captured by Catherine Leutenegger, also identifies the ephemerality of modern city contexts by exploring the remnants of the Kodak headquarters and the resulting downfall of its home city. Barren lands are again illustrated uniquely in John Feely’s study, The Outsider, which showcases his experiences in desolate Mongolian landscapes. He focuses on the connections formed with its residents by gaining silent understanding of one’s surroundings.
A realistic approach to cultural understanding is explored in Paolo Marchetti’s powerful series, The Price of Vanity. He presents a view of intensive farming for high fashion that identifies the need for not only tougher laws in the industry, but more significantly, greater cultural awareness.
These spectacular photographic works and many more will be on display in galleries and other locations all over Sydney from the end of April through May for Head On Photo Festival 2016.
As well as exhibitions, the prestigious Head On Photo Awards will take place, along with an assortment of world-renowned speakers, and innovative workshops, all showcasing the work from over 900 Australian and international photographers.