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The 2011 Head On Photo Festival has drawn to a close having doubled in size in its second year.
Between May 5 - June 11 Head On conducted over 156 photographic events throughout central and greater Sydney including 132 exhibitions and 19 workshops, seminars and special events.
Director Moshe Rosenzveig said the festival’s success was not only gauged through its exponential growth but also through the overwhelmingly positive feedback received and the relationships built with cultural institutions.
“People told me it was great to see so much photography throughout Sydney and not just in galleries. This year, there were pictures strung between trees, in cafes and bookshops. Feedback from the seminar said that people left feeling invigorated having met other photographers, swapping ideas and building community.”
The 2011 festival was not only bigger but wider, with events held in the Blue Mountains, Penrith, Auburn and Blacktown.
New collaborations were built with cultural institutions including the Goethe Institute, Instituto Cervantes, the Canadian Consulate, Alliance Francaise, the Powerhouse Museum, The Sydney Writers’ Festival, the Walkey Foundation, Centennial Parklands, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, ACMP and AIPP.
Head On brought new and increased foot traffic through a significant portion of Sydney’s galleries and took photography outside regular venues.
The festival commissioned and curated major exhibitions that would not otherwise have reached Australia including collections of American and Canadian photography, and the work of French photographer Gilbert Garcin.
Head On also provided unique opportunities for the public to gain access to the Powerhouse Museum’s basement tour and the festival-commissioned walk-in Camera Obscura in Centennial Park.
Many people critically supported the festival by donating money, time and expertise to create a big festival on a small budget.
Around 35 volunteers contribute through the Selection Committee and Advisory Board, in galleries, graphic design, liaison, installation, web design, delivering programs, writing, publicity, tuition, IT, technical support, and project management.
Planning has already commenced for 2012. Those wanting to be involved as exhibitors or venues are strongly encouraged to get in early with expressions of interest. Photographers with work they would like to exhibit next year should ensure they are subscribed to Head On’s email list, Facebook and Twitter pages in order to receive opportunities to contribute to the festival and blog throughout the year.
“Head On is about helping to create opportunities for a lot of people to showcase work that wouldn’t normally get coverage - this is what makes it different,” said Rosenzveig.
"We want to make photography accessible and more visible and to grow it further in 2012."