Lonely Planet Writer

Sydney's Head On photography festival explores Australians' relationship with their cities and spaces

One of the world’s largest and most prestigious photography festivals in Australia, the Head On Photo Festival is back in Sydney this month with over 50 different curated exhibitions and 70 events.

All The Lonely People
All The Lonely People Image by Outsiders/Blackeye

The festival, which takes place between 29 April to 22 May, has always given a particular focus to Australian artists as well as themes and topics related to Australian identity.

Australians
Australians Image by Jon Frank

The theme for this year’s exhibition is Our Cities, Our Cultures, Ourselves an exploration of the “self, societies, and the spaces surrounding them.”

All The Lonely People
All The Lonely People Image by Outsiders/Blackeye

Among the highlights of the festival is Suburban Endurance, a collection of photographs by Amy Crawley which sees Victoria’s rural residents’ experiences compared and contrasted with the artist’s own.

Suburban Endurance
Suburban Endurance Image by Amy Crawley

In Jon Frank’s Australians, the setting for the photographs is totally different, inhabiting the backstreets and gritty urban spaces, trying to explore their impact on the characters that inhabit them.

All The Lonely People
All The Lonely People Image by Outsiders/Blackeye

The Outsiders group show (Greg Marsden, Mike Keevers and Sam Ferris) will be presenting All The Lonely People, an exploration of Sydney’s urban population amid the soft light falling down among skyscrapers. “The city constantly changes and evolves and these images serve as both personal artefacts and cultural documents,” their program note reads.fest 4

The festival ends with the Head On awards given every year in various categories to reflect the variety and breadth of Australian talent in photography.

Australians
Australians Image by Jon Frank