Spectacular photographic works feature in the 2017 Head On Photo Festival

Emma Leslie, Ollie 17 yrs - 2017 Head On Photo FestivalFrom mental illness and motherhood, ISIS and nudists, to the nightlife of Kings Cross in the 1970’s, and rare and unseen images of David Bowie, the Head On Photo Festival returns to Sydney with a stunning array of exhibitions from around the world.

Running from Friday 5 – Sunday 28 May, the 2017 Head On Photo Festival is one of the world’s largest and most prestigious photo festivals. Since it began in 2010 the Festival has evolved from 70 events to 180 throughout its program, showcasing the work of Australian and international photographers.

“This is the biggest year yet for Head On,” said Festival Director, Moshe Rosenzvieg. “We’re exhibiting works from over 600 photographers from 10 different countries. Head On is also moving out to Paddington. We’ve teamed up with Woollahra Municipal Council to revitalise the creative suburb for the month of May.”

“As well as our Festival Hub at Lower Town Hall in the city, we’ll have two new Festival Hubs at Paddington Town Hall and Paddington Reservoir Gardens as well as exhibitions throughout Oxford Street where festival goers can see some of the most engaging photography the Festival has to offer.”

Highlights of the 2017 Head On Photo Festival include:

Amelia and The Animals
Black Eye Gallery: 5 – 14 May 2017
On a job to photograph a chimpanzee, Robin Schwartz brought along her young daughter Amelia. Amelia immediately bonded with the animal. Noticing the connection, Robin photographed the spontaneous interaction, which would become the start of what became a remarkable, 14-year series of a mother’s portraits of her daughter.

Tableau a deux
Gallery KLEI: 5 – 19 May 2017
Peter Solness is an acclaimed light painter who explores a range of subject material in his work, including landscape, architecture and portraiture. What makes his work unique is his meticulous approach to hand-lighting his images, using very long camera exposure times. Tableau a deux is a series of light painted portraits of creative couples living in various regional locations around Australia. They are done in the tableau vivant style of arranging motionless subjects in particular settings, then theatrically lighting them to evoke a visual narrative, reminiscent of the great 17th Century Italian master, Caravaggio.

Bowie Unseen: A Collection of Rare Unseen Photographs of David Bowie
Blender Gallery: 6 May – 3 June 2017
Featuring the works of internationally renowned photographer Markus Klinko, Bowie Unseen will be one of the stand-out exhibitions of the 2017 Festival. Klinko had the opportunity to capture Bowie in his Soho studio for the artist’s 2002 album cover Heathen and again for the cover of GQ’s ‘Men of the Year’ issue. The 24 unseen, rare and exquisite images at this Australian premiere reveal the artistic spirit and impeccable style that Bowie always took great care to display.

Laid Bare
Juniper Hall: 6 – 14 May 2017
The essential subject of Andrew Goldie’s Laid Bare is the raw nature of being human. This series is an optimistic portrait study that explores the beauty to be found within us all. The beach has served as a symbol of our national culture since the early 20th century, representing traditional Australian qualities such as openness, acceptance and egalitarianism. However, depictions of the beach have in the past been typically dominated by good looking, bronzed and muscular Anglo Saxons. Laid Bare seeks to challenge this narrative, by putting forth an alternate conception of beauty. It is a contemporary portrayal which shows the range of new Australians embracing the sun, sand and sea.

Festival Hub Sydney: 6 – 14 May 2017
Looking into the cobblestone streets of New York’s Meatpacking District, the formerly gritty, working-class neighborhood that used to be known for its dynamic gay nightlife and transgender sex workers, has been recently transformed into an ostentatious, high-gloss carnival for the young, single and heterosexual.

Transcend – Portraits of Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth
Festival Hub Sydney: 6 – 14 May 2017
A photo series by Sydney photographer Emma Leslie, Transcend captures 10 children aged 5-17, dressed how they feel best reflects their personality, in an environment they are comfortable in. This series is a chance to create awareness of the reality that is Transgender and the everyday children that live with it.

Uncertainties of Life
Festival Hub Paddington: 6 – 14 May 2017
Taking a look inwards, Uncertainties of Life is a autobiographical photographic series documenting the life of Amy Crawley, her partner and ex-partner as they live together in Frankston, Victoria. Projecting the issues of drug addiction, mental illness, and the limited help for homelessness, Amy explores her feelings and personal relationships with her partner and ex-partner and the struggles that arise whilst living together in the small home.

Wilcannia Stories
Festival Hub Sydney: 6 – 14 May 2017
In 1983 photographer Gerrit Fokkema travelled to the small New South Wales town of Wilcannia to document its people for a book entitled Wilcannia, Portrait of an Australian Town. After 25 years he returned to document the changes to the landscape and people in the original series. The resulting exhibition, Wilcannia Stories examines life in Wilcannia through the juxtaposition of the old and new images Fokkema has captured over the years.

Kings Cross 1970-1971: Rennie Ellis
Mossgreen Sydney: 9 May – 2 June 2017
Presenting a vastly different view of what it’s like today, Kings Cross 1970-1971: Rennie Ellis is a photographic observation of life in the infamous Kings Cross during the summer of 1970-71 by one of the key figures in Australian visual culture, Rennie Ellis.

gaffa: 11 – 22 May 2017
Growing up in an urban environment has led Dutch photographer Astrid Verhoef to investigate and question her connection to nature. Placing herself in various landscapes around the world, she feels both a sense of connection and disconnection at the same time – out of place, yet peaceful and grounded. Inspired by Freud and Surrealism, Astrid stages scenes and reveal emotions that arise from the subconscious relating to the content of identity, and humankind’s place in the natural world.

These spectacular photographic works and many more will be on display in galleries and other locations all over Sydney from Friday 5 – Sunday 28 May 2017. For more information, visit: www.headon.com.au for details.

Image: Emma Leslie, Ollie 17 yrs – 2017 Head On Photo Festival