There is so much I could say about this years Head On Photo Festival in Sydney. Could almost write a book about it …
Sadly, don’t have enough space to tell all about this years exhibitions, artists talks, panel talks, awards and other photographer events that made this years, soon to conclude, festival so special … but I will try.
This years annual extravaganza was based around the beautiful newly remodelled Bondi Pavilion opposite the World famous beach … and in the stunning surrounds at the Reservoir Gardens in Paddington. The work of 500-plus photographers was displayed in 107 exhibitions across the two major venues and further afield.
Work from my “A Photographer’s Life – Part Two” collection … first exhibited in full last year at The Court House Gallery in Cairns … was selected as a ‘featured’ exhibition in Reservoir Gardens. Re-titled “(Selections From) A Photographer’s Life – Part Two” the work on the picturesque wall was edited down to twelve works (from the original 38) by Head On’s Moshe Rosenzveig and team (see top two images below).
Out of the nine other exhibitions also displayed in Reservoir Gardens four were my firm festival favourites … the works of two photojournalists, Giles Clarke from the USA (“Yemen: Conflict & Chaos”) and Mouneb Taim from Syria (“War Notes”), Judith Nangala Crispin’s magnificent and startling photographic creations using wild animals “Dangerous Stars” … and the haunting, disturbing, brave yet occasionally amusing work by breast cancer survivor Lisa Murray and her five-year-old son Griffin entitled “Through My Child’s Eyes”. Brilliant visual treats all …
Out of the many, many exhibitions lining the entire length of Bondi Beach I was most drawn to two that displayed a great visual sense of humour during Covid lockdown … Andrew Rovenko’s fabulous “The Rocketgirl Chronicles” and my old once Cairns mate Jake Nowakowski and his brilliant “Superheroes in Lockdown” set.
Please do take some time to click on the links to see these great exhibitions. Sadly the Reservoir Gardens exhibitions closed at the weekend but the Bondi works will be on display until December 4th.
I was also asked to do some ‘nattering’ at the Festival … in particular an artist talk regarding my “A Photographer’s Life – Part Two” work … and a panel talk on the challenges of photojournalism, and how photojournalists gain trust from and access to their subject entitled “Insiders & Outsiders”. The above mentioned photojournalists Giles Clarke and Mouneb Taim were my co-panelists in a talk moderated by photography journalist Alison Steven-Taylor.
Arguably the most satisfying festival event for me personally was the (re)opening of “Paper Tigers” … an exhibition of the work of sixty of Australia’s best photojournalists curated my myself and Moshe Rosenzveig. The culmination of nearly a year of cajoling and collecting the work of the best of Aussie based media PJ’s, the original exhibition of the sixty collected works was slap bang in the middle of Covid lockdowns and border closures. I and many others of the our contributors … even those in NSW … obviously couldn’t attend. Moshe and the Head On crew made good on their promise of ‘Launch Two’ at the fabulous Delmar Gallery in Ashfield just two weekends ago … and our “Paper Tigers” contributors could at last travel from around the country to celebrate the works on the walls and the accompanying “Paper Tigers” book (see images three and four below).
For those interested … here are the contributors to “Paper Tigers” … a totally talented bunch who withstood my constant nagging … Thanks …
Alex Coppel, Andrew Chapman, Angela Wylie, Ashley Crowther, Barbara McGrady, Ben Bohane, Brendan Beirne, Brian Cassey, Chris Hopkins, Craig Golding, Craig Greenhill, Darrian Traynor, Dave Tacon, David Dare Parker, David Gray, Dean Lewins, Dean Sewell, Delly Carr, Eddie Safarik, Edwina Pickles, Gerrit Fokkema, Glenn Campbell, Glenn Lockitch, Grant Wells, Helga Salwe, Ilana Rose, Jaime Murcia, Jake Nowakowski, Janie Barrett, Jessica Hromas, John Donegan, John French, Justin McManus, Louise Kennerley, Luis Ascui, Mark Crusty Baker, Martine Perret, Max Mason Hubers, Meredith O’Shea, Merv Bishop, Michael Amendolia, Michael Coyne, Moshe Rosenzveig, Nic Walker, Nick Moir, Nicola Bailey, Noel Butcher, Paul Blackmore, Penny Stephens, Peter Solness, Richard Wainwright, Rick Stevens, Rob Maccoll, Robert McFarlane, Simon O’Dwyer, Stephen Dupont, Sylvia Liber, Tim Page, Tobias Titz and Tracey Nearmy.
Many Thanks to the Head On crew of Moshe, Anita, Stephen, India, Georgia and Talia for putting on a truly awesome festival.
Finally … two further things … happy to report that my image “Scooter” (Paralympian Grant Patterson) was selected as semi-finalist in the Head On Portrait Prize (image below) … and that in a very, very, VERY rare occurrence fellow photographer lovely Iceland based Serena Dzenis managed to con me into being the subject (hate that) of a damn photograph at my Reservoir Gardens exhibition (bottom below). No idea how she managed that …
Images © Brian Cassey (top five) & Serena Dzenis (bottom)