In anticipation of our full program being released within the fortnight, we are offering a sneak-preview of some of our finest exhibitions hand-picked from across the globe. 

George Pacheco:  Amalthée
Sydney Lower Town Hall
02/05/15-10/05/15

The title of this work derives from the name of the goat that nursed infant Zeus, according to Greek mythology. It is meant to pay homage to the universal act of breastfeeding. There is also a reference to the sensuality which is common in most of the religious paintings since the Middle Ages, frequently close to profane subjects by including suggestive poses and nude figures. By revisiting this icon of the nursing virgin, a central and recurring theme from the 15th to the 17th century, to the point of having marked our collective unconsciousness, the artist tries to question the process of representation and incarnation of such an archetypal image by real and present times mothers, whom Pacheco ask to be in an selfless attitude, whilst fully living this privileged bond and intimate moment with their child.


Jonathan May: Desert Ink
Gaffa
30/04/15 – 11/05/15

Desert Ink is a tale of eight Mexican tattoo artists from the wrong side of the tracks. They found the will to change by following their love of art and tattooing. With identities forged in street furnaces of gang banging, shoot outs, drug dealing and jail time, this band of men crafted new identities, they formed a new gang, one united by art and their determination to earn a decent living, rising from the trappings of their nefarious past lives. A lot of their brothers are either still doing time, or six feet underground. 

 


 

Shunzen Fan: Between Heaven and Earth
Stanley St Gallery
29/04/15 – 16/05/15

How many times does the reality match your dreams or the reality restrains us? Or the dreams restrained us or we restrained ourselves as we forgot our dreams? Sometimes we just hide our dreams deep in the heart.

As young schoolkids, we have all been asked to write an essay ‘my dream’. Our answers varied – to be a scientist or teacher, to go to the moon etc. A few decades later, we meet at school reunions and talk about houses, cars, children, schools and limited edition bags. We confuse desires and dreams – dreams become an unreachable word. The artist see’s dreams as a positive energy – it is not important whether the dream can come true. This series of work are all staged pictures of everyday people who pose in front of ‘their dream’. First a black and white image is made and then it is manually coloured. Although there is a clash between the desired and the real identities and a conflict between the fairy tale, colour and facial expression these ordinary people seem to peacefully co-exist and find their resonance.


Ramak Bamzar: Iranian Wedding
Sydney Lower Town Hall
02/05/15-10/05/15

In 2005, Ramak Bazar was employed as a wedding photographer in Iran. Much of the work undertaken was posed portraits of the traditional dress of these families and their depiction of what beauty and prosperity is. This was often striking in their comparison with more modern communities/societies: brides heavily made up; the wedding costumes; veils, hairdos and the traditional dress of the family that often overshadow the love and commitment being shared.

This series illustrates the impact that tradition and religion has on the ritual of marriage and how dissimilar it is to Australian traditions. The opportunity to show this work would have been prohibited in Iran. Due to a lack of freedom of speech by Islamic rule, photographers cannot display/publish/exhibit any photos of an uncovered woman in public.It is tradition and the impression of beauty that is captured within this series and a motivating reason for exploring this subject over a period of time.

 
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Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 open in May/June.

Image detail: Gary Ramage