7 Must See Exhibitions at Head On Photo Festival


There’s some world class photography hanging on walls across Sydney right now, and it won’t be around for very long.

Head On Photo Festival returns once again to our fair city, and you’ve only got until the 19th of May to check out the massive lineup of work on display from both emerging photographers, and world-renowned names such as Helmut Newton. But how do you know what shows you need to put on your hitlist, in a festival that has hundreds of photographers works on display daily? You read the below.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Heroes – Masayoshi Sukita

Legend has it that Japanese photographer Masayoshi Sukita saw a poster of David Bowie in London in 1972, and despite never having heard his music, knew he had to go see him in concert. Even though he spoke extremely limited English, Masayoshi managed to arrange a portrait session with Bowie afterwards, and the pair would go on to work together for 40 years; even creating the iconic cover of Bowie’s Heroes album together. A mini-retrospective not to miss at Head On.

Monday to Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm at Paddington Town Hall.

Ladies in Waiting – Roni Ben-Ari

Israeli photographer Roni Ben-Ari spent two years documenting the daily lives of sex workers in countries such as Israel, India, the Netherlands, and Russia. The idea for the project first came to her after volunteering at a mobile health clinic in Tel Aviv, where a team of volunteers provided health care, contraceptives, clean syringes and food to sex workers. ‘After building their trust, many of the women invited me into their homes and intimate spaces,’ Ben-Ari said. ‘I photographed this community while they were between customers, documenting their daily routines, mealtimes, conversations, laughter, and leisurely activities. While creating this body of work, I avoided photographing the women while they were working. Through Ladies in Waiting, I hope to dignify and elevate the lives of these women and reveal the humanity within them.’

Monday to Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm at Paddington Town Hall.

Select Helmut Newtown – Helmut Newton

Do you even need to be sold on this one? The King of Kink, whose provocative photos made him a household name across the world, is now showing at Head On and you need to see it. Newton’s work is always better in the flesh, and flesh there’s aplenty in this tightly curated, erotic photo exhibition.

Wednesday to Saturday,10 am – 6 pm, Sunday 10 am – 3 pm at The Lyons Gallery, Paddington.

Für Mich/A Way Of Reconciliation – Sina Niemeyer

Using a variety of mediums including photography, writing, graphic design, found objects, and photographs from her family albums, Sina Niemeyer’s A Way of Reconciliation confronts a childhood of sexual abuse. Niemeyer says that the series not only serves as self-reflection, but also hopes to provide support and solace for other survivors of sexual abuse.

Monday to Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm at Paddington Town Hall.

Greatest Hits: Grunge – Chris Cuffaro

For over three decades, photographer Chris Cuffaro has shot bands and musicians like Jane’s Addiction, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, George Michael, Iggy Pop, No Doubt, Henry Rollins, Elvis Costello, Fiona Apple and more. Cuffaro recalls his first trip to Seattle in the 90s, when he had a chance shooting with a local band: ‘I got to shoot the band Nirvana for fun. Their manager John Silva was nice enough to set up the shoot for me because they had a new drummer named Dave and needed new photos. The rest is history!’ Get to Blender Gallery in Paddington to see exactly why Cuffaro’s shots have graced the covers of 300 record albums and CDs, and made it into iconic music titles such as Rolling Stone, Spin, RayGun and more.

Wednesday to Saturday, 11 am – 5 pm at Blender Gallery.

2018 Meitar Prize for Excellence in Photography

The Meitar Award for Excellence in Photography is a grant founded three years ago by PHOTO IS:RAEL, with the aim of promoting dialogue through photography. It’s the first time the Meitar Award Finalist exhibition has travelled outside Israel, so make sure you get to this one and check out the 20 finalists from around the globe that made the cut.

Monday to Sunday, 9-5pm at Paddington Reservoir Gardens.

The Valley of Shadows – Camillo Pasquarelli

The valley of Kashmir, a territory disputed by India and Pakistan, is one of the most militarised zones in the world. In recent years, security forces were armed with a new crowd control weapon: pellet guns filled with ‘non-lethal’ lead pellets. But, as is often the case in areas of conflict worldwide, many of the victims of these new weapons weren’t perpetrators of violent clashes, but innocent passersby who must now live with their lifelong injuries. Italian photographer Camillo Pasquarelli’s series captures the victims and the injuries inflicted upon them, which often includes partial or full blindness.

Monday to Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm at Paddington Town Hall.

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