Head On at 107: Faces of India

Allan Coker
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Entry Fee: Free

Allan Coker. Series of portraits from India.

India is the second-most populous country with a population of over 1.3billion people. It is a land of great contrasts; a pluralistic, multilingual and multi-ethnic society and in 2020 it was one of the world’s fastest growing economies. It is, however, the people of India that drew me to this incredible country. There are people everywhere but each has a unique personality, unique looks, captivating eyes and a fascinating story to tell.

This series of portraits was photographed over an intense period of 2 weeks in late 2018.  It features some of the children from the back alleyways of Agra to the holy men who renounce the worldly life and follow a path of spiritual discipline.  The backdrops for these images are the busy streets, colourfully painted walls, roaming animals and even the mighty Ganges River at Varanassi at first light.

I think the key to any portrait is to capture the eyes to get an understanding of character and mood. Therefore, I have carefully focussed on the eyes and then framed my images in a way that provides just enough information to set the context and better tell the story. I hope that this small selection of images allows you to connect with these people and give you some insight into the lives they live.

Head On at 107 draws together 8 photographic artists. The series have been selected to sit together yet stand apart, representing different approaches. The curatorial process gives equal weight to each artist’s work and unifies the exhibition space. The artists collaborate on installation, promotion and social media, supporting each other through the process of exhibition.

Artists: Allan Coker, Christine Ansorge, Fiona Ruck, Francis Minien. Kate Ballis, Kelly Slater, Natalia Mroz, Suzan Pektas.
Curator: Sandy Edwards

Allan has been a passionate amateur photographer since 1978. His photographic journey started when he purchased a DSLR film camera and set off on travels to Europe and Asia. He discovered that he just liked taking photos. When he returned to Australia he was excited to pick up many yellow boxes of Kodachrome slides. While he thought that most of this early work was technically OK he felt that he did not have many images of strong human interest. He read many books, journals and magazines and attended various workshops and short courses but he is largely self-taught. During his career Allan has photographed a wide range of subjects from landscapes, people and portraiture, sport, photojournalism, fashion and street photography.

This event has concluded
Entry Fee: Free
© Rob Johnston

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