Moshe Rosenzveig, the Head On founder and director started this exhibition ten years ago which occupied a small gallery with Australian made portraits It has exploded in size to be one of the major photographic exhibitions in the world.
Over the decade the Festival has awarded more than $600,000 in cash and products. Over the years it has been displayed in over 320 galleries, the streets of Sydney, parks and churches.
This year thousands of entries were received from all over the world which took the judges two weeks to adjudicate. There were several categories comprising portrait, landscape and student. The portrait prize winner was Juliet Taylor for her moody photo Unlucky set in the San Bernardino High Desert of America.
The winner of the Landscape Prize was Bruce Haswell for his photo Blackpool, UK 2016
A special New South Wales Prize went to Chris Round for his photo of The Big Trout, Adaminaby, NSWThe Mobile Phone Prize when to Mel Meek for his photo Fruit crush.The Student Prize went to Aimee Sluga for a photo of her grandmother entitled The Last Goodbye.
Voting forms were handed out during the Festival to see what was regarded by the public as the most popular image. This hasn’t been announced yet.
In addition there were screenings, slideshows, seminars and featured exhibitions highlighting the works of invited photographers.
I suppose being Sydney centric I do find it impossible to get to far flung galleries on the fringes of Sydney. I do understand that these areas should not be deprived of quality photo exhibitions. I was fortunate that this year the bulk of displayed photos were centred around the Paddington hub comprising the Paddington Town Hall, the Paddington Reservoir courtyard and Juniper Hall currently housing the Moran Contemporary Photography Prize winners and finalists.
Given the vast amount of effort put into this exhibition by amassing and displaying this vast amount of photographic art, I do not understand why it runs for a ‘criminally’ short period of 15 days. In my opinion the Festival should be held over a month so that various venues can be ‘sipped’ individually rather than a great big gulp I experienced at the Paddington Hub. Furthermore, if one works and has only the weekends free to see this Festival it makes viewing time almost impossibly minute. All I can say is I love the Festival but more time please!
featured photo- Lulu Pinkus ‘Cloud Surfing’ 2nd Prize mobile phone category. Pics by Ben Apfelbaum. Original photos attributed.