Top Picks :: Head On Photo Festival

May 1st 2015
Kawita Vatanajyankur The Carrying Pole, 2015. HD video still.

Kawita Vatanajyankur, The Carrying Pole [digital video still], 2015

Sink into the eyes of local and international photographers as Head On Photo Festival offers a diverse selection of exhibitions across the month of May. Held across Sydney, Head On is committed to unpacking photography and its impact on how we see the world around us, which it does not only through exhibitions, but also through a host of speakers and workshops. We’ve dived head on into their program and pulled out a few goodies to see throughout the month.


The newly acquired space for aMBUSH Gallery in Central Park, plays host to the exhibition ‘Three/3.’ Comprising of three bodies of work by Emmanuel Angelicas (AUS), Benjamin Lowy (US) and Tanu Gago (NZ), each explore life of the streets in three distinct communities from across the world. Australia’s Emmanual Angelicas recorded migrant communities and street life in his native Marrickville, capturing moments with a spontaneous and straightforward approach. ‘Three/3’ is showing at aMBUSH Gallery from 01 – 17 May.

Photo by Emmanuel Angelicas

 Emmanuel Angelicas (cropped)


Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich

Sandro Miller’s collaborative photography project ‘Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich’ uses John Malkovich as Miller’s muse where photos from the past such as Annie Leibovitz’s iconic Yoko Ono and John Lennon and Bert Stern’s ‘Marilyn in Pink Roses’ have been recreated. These are photos that Miller says helped shaped his career. Sandro Miller is also in town for the festival so don’t miss his talk. Catch the exhibition at Black Eye Gallery from 28 April – 17 May.

Sandro Miller 'Annie Leibovitz / Meryl Steep, NYC (1981)' (cropped), 2014.

Sandro Miller ‘Annie Leibovitz / Meryl Steep, NYC (1981)’ (cropped), 2014.


Desert Ink

Jonathan May’s exhibition, ‘Desert Ink’ is a tale of 8 tattoo artists from the wrong side of the tracks. A lot of their brothers are doing time or six feet under. May provides a documentary of a group who followed their love of art and tattooing in order to forge a new gang, united by art offering a change from the trappings of their former lives. Showing at Gaffa Gallery from 30 April – 11 May.

Jonathan May Angel, Sinner and Lazz, 2014

Jonathan May Angel, Sinner and Lazz, 2014


Kawita Vatanajyankur has a distinct aesthetic that can be seen through her video art – the use of pastels reflecting that of a delicious candy shop offers the viewer a sense of pleasure, consumption and desire – though only to confound their expectations. ‘Work’ offers a powerful examination of psychological, social and cultural ways of viewing and valuing women’s everyday labour. Showing at Stills Gallery from 06 May – 06 June.

Kawita Vatanajyankur The Squeezers [digital video still], 2015

Kawita Vatanajyankur, The Squeezers [digital video still], 2015



Byron Spencer is a prominent figure in the Sydney fashion scene, working with publications such as iD Magazine, Oyster, Vogue and more. His exhibition ‘YOU’ capture people that have inspired and intrigued him in one way or another, creating a sense of intimacy with each subject – the exhibition is a celebration of collaboration with a creative team to capture a unique portrait. Catch the exhibition at Leonard Mattis Studio from 07 – 18 May.

Byron Spencer, YOU, 2015

Byron Spencer, YOU, (cropped) 2015

Right Hear, Right Now

Kate Disher Quill, Pool Grant recipient presents her highly anticipated exhibition, ‘Right Hear, Right Now.’ The body of work explores the diverse experiences of Deafness and hearing loss, using elements of photography, multimedia and installation. Kate has created a sensory experience that provides the audience with some understanding of what it is like to live with a hearing loss. The exhibition will be shown at District 07 from 04 – 10 May.

Photo by Kate Disher Quill (cropped)

Kate Disher Quill, ‘Right Hear, Right Now’ (cropped)

WHAT :: Head On Photo Festival
WHERE :: Various Locations, Sydney
WHEN :: 01 – 31 May


Want more arts & culture? Check out FBi’s Culture Guide.



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