Head On Photography Festival 2013

Egalitarian Match-Maker

HEAD ON, the annual Sydney-based festival of photography, is open for submissions from both photographers and venues wishing to be part of the next event. While venues should be in Sydney, photographers from anywhere in the world can submit their exhibition proposal.

Unlike many festivals which run a competitive system for exhibition places, Head On works more as a ‘match-maker’ bringing the work of photographers to the attention of potential venues. As a result their program is highly diverse and multi-faceted, reflecting many opinions and tastes. Equally this means that not everyone proves to be the right ‘fit’, so lack of success should not be seen as necessarily a poor opinion of the images by the organisers. It’s just the way the world works.

However, this year a new additional opportunity is on offer and this is competitive. Head On is offering grants to part-subsidise three exhibitions and guarantee each a place in one of the prime festival venues. There is no special application process for this grant; the winners will be selected from among all the projects submitted to the coming festival.

HEAD ON BEGAN IN 2004 as a photographic portrait award competition which, over the next few years, grew exponentially in both popularity and critical acclaim. Much of its success was due to its core philosophy of focusing on the quality of the imagery and not the fame or otherwise of either the maker or the subject. It is an egalitarian approach which has since had a significant influence on the way larger institutions of Australia approach portraiture in their own programs.

In 2010 the competition founder, Moshe Rosenzveig, launched the Head On Festival. It instantly caught the creative imagination of the city to become a vibrant and significant event in Australia’s cultural diary. Only three editions later, it this year attracted over 600,000 visitors to more than 230 exhibitions and events.

The Head On Portrait Award competition remains at the heart of the festival. And while the larger event focuses on complete exhibitions; the portrait prize is for single images. The call for entries to the competition will go out early next year.

The next Head On Photography Festival will run from 17 May to 23 June 2013.


FOR INFORMATION on how to apply to Head On Photography Festival as a photographer or as a venue, go here.

Photographers must submit their exhibition proposals before 31 October 2012.

Venues in Sydney interested in being a part of the festival should contact the organisers before 31 December 2012.

~Head On is a member of the Asia-Pacific Photo-Forum.


Images (from the top):
Composite (from left to right): © George Voulgaropolous; © Miles Standish; © Joseph McGlennon; © Gregory McBean; © Grant Nowell; © Thomas Breakwell and © Bryan Smith
Opening night Head on Photography Festival 2012 [image © Steve Marshall]


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

  • The majority of the texts on this site are by Alasdair Foster and represent his opinions. However, in order to facilitate a useful diversity of views, some texts have been invited from artists and colleagues around the world, while others appear as independent comments. These opinions and comments are not necessarily those of Alasdair Foster or Cultural Development Consulting (CDC). All data and information on this site is provided on an as-is basis. While every effort is made to be as thorough as possible, neither Alasdair Foster nor CDC make representations as to accuracy, completeness, currency, suitability or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.
%d bloggers like this: