Image credit: Gillian Hyland

Words in Sight is Gillian Hyland’s stunning book of photographs and poems that span a decade of work. Exhibited in Head On Photo Festival 2018, her dramatic photographs are based on her own poems and depict characters in human dramas and isolated emotional situations. 

These mesmerizing and supernatural staged images, not dissimilar to film stills, clearly draw on her early career in styling & set design. Frozen in time, solitary and vulnerable moments are presented in glorious technicolour and timeless sets.

A self-described image maker and storyteller, Hyland has exhibited around the world, including in Head On Portrait Award finalist exhibition in 2017, and received several awards, including a Sony Portrait Award, International Photographer of the Year, AX3 – American Aperture Award, and the PDN Curator Awards.

This beautiful photo book would make a wonderful addition to your photographic book collection.

I want the viewer to look at my image and see themselves. The use of sets and costumes is part of creating a story that we can all identify with, a past of which we can just recall parts. It’s not about creating a pretty picture, for me it’s the intention that lies beneath it that is truly worthwhile. I’m drawn to the thinking mind behind the face, the subject’s eyes holding a story in their gaze; that is what I aim to capture through my photographs.” Gillian Hyland


A women in a red dress with a glass of wine looks wistful at a table while behind her a man looks out a window.

Image credit: Gillian Hyland


Head On Foundation (est. 2008) is a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting photographers' work at all career stages. We encourage excellence and innovation, make photography accessible to all, and raise awareness of important issues through the medium. The Foundation's main activities are Head On Photo Festival and Head On Awards (Portrait, Landscape, and Student photographic prizes) and an annual program of collaborative projects. Head On Foundation is a bridge between Australian and international photography markets. The festival has toured in the US, China, India, Europe, and New Zealand, introducing the global arts community to the wealth of photographic talent Australia possesses.

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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