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Image: Huang Qingjun from Online shopping family stuff

The 2021 Head On Photo Festival is well underway, and we hope you are enjoying it. It showcases the work of 750 artists in over 100 exhibitions. Our featured program includes the main exhibitions hubs along the promenade at the iconic Bondi Beach and in Paddington Reservoir Gardens. Our open program has shows all around Sydney and further afield.  See our full program here for more details.

We have 51 shows along the Bondi Beach promenade, so you’d be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of exhibitions on display. We do recommend you see it all – but to help you decide what to start with, our team picked their top shows.

At Bondi Beach, our first pick is Online Shopping Family Stuff by Beijing-based freelance photographer Huang Qingjun. Qingjun spent a decade visiting the cities and the more remote rural areas of China. He convinced ordinary people to display – and be photographed with – everything they had ever bought online. Fascinating and extraordinary.


Image: Phil Bayly from Interior

Closer to home, Aussie photographer Phil Bayly documents the remote terrain between Australia’s east and west coast in his exhibition Interior.  Phil’s journey recalls memories of his childhood holidays in these barren lands, surrounded by broad horizons of saltbush and red dust. Beautiful and lyrical. 


Our final pick from Bondi Beach is Johannes Reinhart’s Dreaming of Mermaids. Drawn every year to the spectacle of the mermaid tank at the Perth Fringe World Festival, Johannes reflects on the childlike dream that mermaids really do exist.  We’re sure this will delight the child in you too.


Image: Anastasia Trahanas from Naked Britain

At Paddington Reservoir Gardens, we recommend Anastasia Trahanas’ Naked Britain. This exhibtion is a collaboration between Anastasia and each of her sitters. In this long-standing, ongoing project, Anastasia explores the concept of the self and its connection to society. For her, “To be genuinely naked is, after all, to be truly free”. What do you think?


Image: Ben Blick Hodge from Apophony Anemone

Before you leave the Reservoir Gardens, make sure you see Ben Blick Hodges sumptuous lightboxes displaying his Apophony Anemone series. 


Image: Gabrielle N Menezes from Invisible Ink

And finally, to round off our top picks, in the CBD at Gaffa Gallery, we recommend Invisible Ink by Gabrielle N Menezes. This series tells stories of relationships, affairs, abortions, abuse, and young and old love – events that change us the most. Check the gallery for hours and any restrictions before visiting.

We hope you get to see as many of our wonderful exhibitions as you possibly can, while you can.

And remember to follow us on Instagram and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with all our news. 



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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