A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at https://www.travelwithirenke.blogspot.com
Now in its 8th year, the Head On Photo Festival offers both well-known and emerging artists a chance to submit their works to be displayed in public, providing invaluable opportunities in both the Australian and International photographic markets.
The festival has toured several countries and is currently on in Sydney with 800 artists displaying their handiwork in 180 exhibitions and events at 100 venues. That's a lot of photos. One particular venue I've long been meaning to check out is the Paddington Reservoir Gardens and it was a win-win exploring this Eastern Suburbs hidden gem with the added bonus of the photographic works on display.
Situated on Oxford Street, this sunken garden is near to shops but feels a world away from the busyness of them. Originally a reservoir supplying parts of Sydney with water in the mid to late 1800s, it's now a fabulous open air setting that provides a tranquil relaxation space and, in addition, often holds some wonderful events. Retaining the best of its character, it's a blend of the ancient Baths of Caracalla in Rome and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
On show here are group exhibitions from Getty Images, Feature Shoot and Shoot the Frame. In partnership with Goethe-Institut, the award-winning German artist Herlinde Koelbl is also presented. Other works include those from Australian photographers, Paul Skillen and Lisa Clarke, and those from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Photos include a range of subjects with Getty Images presenting the Power of Sport and the Shoot the Frame group capturing creatures in the wild. Some amazing photographic moments include action shots of the Olympic Games and the Australian Open, extreme sports and accidents, a bird and its prey in flight, a mother and her baby baboon and many more.
Herlinde Koelbl presents Targets, a series of confronting images portraying soldiers in training and the carnage of war whilst, for something lighter, Lisa Clarke's work explores people in everyday situations. These can be found in the eastern chamber of the gardens.
Whilst I was there, professional photographers were giving talks with tips on taking photos from different angles to create different perspectives on subjects and inviting the audience to capture the model. In various venues of this festival, you'll also find workshops and panel discussions. The full program of events and locations can be found here.
It would be hard to get around to all the events, so if you have to choose just a few then I highly recommend these gardens as one. They're immaculately kept with deck chairs to rest in, along with a reflection pool surrounded by greenery and brick arches making it picture perfect in itself. I can't think of a better place for a photo exhibition.
Wide boardwalks make the gardens accessible for those less mobile and whilst there are stairs, there is also a lift. Entry is free with gates open at 7am and closure at 7pm daily. Minimal street parking is available, therefore, it is best to catch public transport. A number of buses will get you there, including routes 333, 380, 440 and M40.
I can heartily recommend Irenke's view of this location and the exhibition currently showing. It's an intriguing place to show off these images and just next door is the HeadOn Photo Festival Hub, the Town Hall, so it's even more worthwhile taking the time to visit the area. Really easy on public transport!