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Head On Photo Festival

  • Art, Photography
  1. Neil Kramer, 'Quarantine in Queens'
    Photograph: Head On | Neil Kramer, 'Quarantine in Queens'
  2. Probal Rashi, 'George Floyd Death: This is why we are protesting'
    Photograph: Head On | Probal Rashid, 'George Floyd Death: This is why we are protesting'
  3. Horace Li, 'The Journey Home'
    Photograph: Head On | Horace Li, 'The Journey Home'
  4. People walk along the promenade at Bondi Beach, a series of photographs are tethered to the railing.
    Photograph: Head On/Moshe Rosenzveig

Time Out says

Australia's largest photography festival is back with 52 exhibitions scattered across Sydney

Australia’s leading annual photography event is back for its twelfth edition this month, with over 60 exhibitions lighting up across various locations throughout Sydney from November 19 to 28.

This year you can explore outdoor exhibitions in the beautiful, subterranean Paddington Reservoir Gardens as well as at the Bondi Beach Promenade, where Head On is taking up an increased physical footprint packed with even more works than previous years. There are also indoor photography showings at various galleries throughout the city.

The range of subjects and styles in Head On's exhibitions are as eclectic as we've come to expect. There's the world premiere of Australian photographer and former DJ Bridgette Gower's Disco Bugs, which casts insects as ravers, the world premiere of Kurds Open Wounds by Kurdish photographer and former refugee Younes Mohammad, and acclaimed Australia-based photographer Johannes Reinhart’s ethereal images for Dreaming of Mermaids taken at Perth Fringe World Festival’s mermaid tank.

There is also more than one collection that captures life in lockdown, including the Australian premiere of celebrated American photographer, writer and filmmaker Neil Kramer's series Quarantine in Queens, and Australian photographer Kadri Elcoat’s humorous series Postcards from the Edge, telling an irreverent story of a life lost during the lockdown in Melbourne. Both are showing at the Bondi Beach Promenade.

For the first time, the Festival will also feature an exhibition of emerging First Nations photographers from the mentorship program First Sight designed by the Head On Foundation.

There is also a free program of talks, conversations and workshops you can pick and choose from. All are presented outdoors with Covid-safe protocols at Paddington Reservoir Gardens, including talks by exhibiting artists, workshops to hone skills and a special sunrise "Instameet" at Bondi Beach.

The Head On Photo Awards also return for 2021, offering a prize pool of $70,000 to professional and amateur photographers worldwide. The winners are to be announced at the Festival’s virtual launch event on Friday November 19. Check out the full program here.

What are you up to? Check out the best things to do in Sydney this week.

Alannah Le Cross
Written by
Alannah Le Cross


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