Capturing Essence, The Unveiling of the Greek Lens at Head On Photo Festival 2023 in Sydney, Australia

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The Head On Photo Festival commenced its highly anticipated annual affair with an opening evening with a remarkable turnout, captivating over 1200 attendees. The galleries at Bondi Pavilion in Sydney witnessed a steady stream of enthusiasts, with a staggering 1400 individuals exploring the diverse and enthralling displays over the following days of the opening, which feature Greek City Times images.

In its 14th annual celebration, the Head On Photo Festival is set to amaze audiences once again with the compelling visions with a record 702 emerging and professional photographers from Australia and across the globe, this year’s festival will deliver the annual photographic competition with $70,000 in prizes as well as more than 100 exhibitions across the city. Bondi Beach will serve as the canvas for this photographic extravaganza, showcasing an array of thought-provoking images encompassing diverse themes and narratives. It’s estimated the festival will attract around 400,000 people along Bondi’s promenade alone.

This year's event, curated by the festival's creative director and founder, Moshe Rosenzveig, promises an impressive display of talent, attracting an influx of entries that have surged to unprecedented numbers. What distinguishes this festival is its emphasis on the artwork's intrinsic qualities, prioritising composition and merit over the reputation or renown of the artists. This unbiased approach democratises the platform and allows burgeoning talents to shine globally.

The Head On Photo Festival Sydney Australia. 2023
Opening evening with over 1200 attendees at Bondi Beach
The Head On Photo Festival Sydney Australia. 2023
A staggering 1400 people attended in the first days.

"Grand Slam Stories" by Nick Bourdaniotis
Dates: 11 Nov 2023 - 03 Dec 2023
Location: Yalagang room, Bondi Pavilion, Queen Elizabeth Dr, Bondi Beach NSW 2026
Hours: Daily 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Entry: Free

This year, the festival proudly featured the work of Nick Bourdaniotis, a distinguished photographer from the Greek City Times team. Bourdaniotis's featured photos at the festival are a collection of images capturing the essence of Australian Open moments featuring players from Greece and of Greek descent. His series, aptly titled 'Grand Slam Stories', has emerged as a focal point, drawing significant interest and crowds to the respective gallery.

The Head On Photo Festival Sydney Australia. 2023
Nick Bourdaniotis with Mayor of Waverly Council Paula Masselos

Speaking with Head On Photo Festival representatives, they admired Bourdaniotis's collection, acknowledging its ability to captivate and engage audiences. The fusion of artistry and cultural resonance within the Australian Open imagery has proven to be a magnet for visitors, adding a distinctive allure to the festival's offerings.

Nick captures the Australian Open tennis tournament's energy, emotion and drama over several years, from the players' incredible athleticism and the fans' passionate support to the sweeping panoramas of the Melbourne Park complex.

Copyright: Nick Bourdaniotis
Copyright: Nick Bourdaniotis
Copyright: Nick Bourdaniotis

Images of beauty and fragility

Tony Moaniaty is showcasing his work at the Kirribilli Centre Gallery.

As concerns about climate change and global disorder continue to grow, Greek-Australian photographer Tony Maniaty’s latest exhibition aims to broaden our thinking about life on Earth now and how it might evolve. It’s hard in these uncertain times to appreciate the value of beauty, but Maniaty believes that could be our only hope of survival. For all their efforts, economics, technology and governments are failing to solve the world’s problems; what may sustain us, Maniaty suggests, is a sense of hope born out of all the beauty surrounding us. With imagination and a curious eye, his work reflects the human experience in abstract and thought-provoking ways.

Greek-Australian photographer Tony Maniaty

Held in conjunction with the Head On Photo Festival, the Kirribilli exhibition features 21 large-scale images taken in Greece, Turkey, France, Britain and Australia over the past two years. As North Sydney Mayor Zoë Baker notes about the impacts of climate change and the urgent need to act, “Many feel overwhelmed by the urgency of the issue and the slow rate of action. Tony Maniaty’s exhibition is a poignant reflection of our world now and how humans have the power to protect or destroy it.”

Tony Maniaty says: “Photographs lead us to new ways of seeing, understanding, and fresh appreciations of beauty. I see this as photography’s gift to humanity. The architect Jorn Utzon, the designer of the Sydney Opera House, spoke of working at the edge of the possible: having the vision to see and feel what others may not. I believe humanity’s best chance of survival is to open our eyes to the beauty around us, our interactions with each other, and by exploring the myriad possibilities that come with human creativity.” Maniaty adds: “We’ve become increasingly aware of how fragile the Earth is. The more we see beauty, the more we’re inclined to appreciate it, to revere it rather than damage it. To save it, we must open our eyes to the planet's beauty.”

‘The Planet of Possibilities’ Exhibition by Tony Maniaty

Tony Maniaty will attend the gallery on the following dates: 19 November – 9 December 2023, 12-5 pm. Location: Kirribilli Centre Gallery, 16-18 Fitzroy Street, North Sydney.

10. Store models Istanbul 2022
Copyright: Tony Maniaty
6. Dusk swim Brighton 2023
Copyright: Tony Maniaty
1. Freuds garden London 2022
Copyright: Tony Maniaty

Marrickville Chroma by EMMANUEL ANGELICAS

Marrickville Chroma is a peek into photographer Emmanuel Angelicas’ long-term love affair with the suburb where he was raised and lives today. It is an affectionate observation of the many people and diverse communities that call inner city Marrickville home.

Angelicas is well known for his 50-year archive of moody black-and-white images, so for many, this exhibition will be a startling look at a colourful modern Marrickville. The photographs are an eclectic, confident, quirky celebration of people, much like the suburb itself.
Emmanuel Angelicas began photography at age seven and soon knew it was his true vocation. His work is collected and exhibited worldwide.

After 50 years, his photographic archive is vast. He is best known for his black-and-white artistic images of dark fantasy with their frisson of danger, but his most recent colour photographs are a quirky celebration of the people and places in his neighbourhood.

Greek-Australian photographer Emmanuel Angelicas

Though photographic technology has changed, Angelicas embraces film and digital cameras, and his attitude to photography has never wavered.

“Every time I shoot in Marrickville, either in my home or on the street – I am still this seven-year-old boy curious with his camera….”

Dates: 15 Nov 2023 - 26 Nov 2023
Location: Stirrup Gallery, Building 13, 142 Addison Rd, Marrickville
Hours: Mon-Fri 11:00 am - 6:00 pm; Sat-Sun 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Entry Fee: Free
Exhibition Event: Official Opening 18/11/2023 6:00 pm

Copyright: Emmanuel Angelicas
Copyright: Emmanuel Angelicas
Copyright: Emmanuel Angelicas

In an era where visibility often aligns with popularity, the Head On Photo Festival is a beacon of inclusivity, championing the unseen, the unheard, and the emerging talents whose artistry knows no boundaries. This showcase of raw emotion, cultural depth, and visual storytelling cements the festival's place as an unmissable celebration of global creativity and humanity's collective experiences.

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Image supplied by Head On Photo Festival

Head On Photo Festival creative director and founder Moshe Rosenzveig OAM, says the event has had an influx of entries this year, and they have accepted one of the highest numbers of works to date.

“What’s unique about this festival - and unseen in any other gallery in Australia - is that we aren’t selecting the artists, rather the artwork based on its composition and merit alone,” says Rosenzveig, who worked as a photojournalist in the Middle East and then moved into film and television work.

“The majority of portrait competitions are judged on the celebrity of the photographer or subject, meaning so many incredible works are not seen,” he adds.

“At Head On the pieces are submitted blindly, so the selection panel doesn't know who the photographer is. We don’t care where they went to school, or where they have exhibited before. We’re trying to eliminate that bias,” he adds.

“Through this process we have discovered a lot of new talent and launched photographers into hugely successful professional careers.” 

It’s that difference which sets Head On apart from other exhibitions, and it's now grown to become the biggest photo festival in the country and a significant event on the global arts calendar.

Rosenzveig reflects on his eagerness to create the event after The Citigroup Private Bank Australian Photographic Portraiture Prize (no longer operating), once held in conjunction with the Archibald Prize, rejected his submission, and he noticed the exhibited subjects or photographers were all well-known.

“This approach makes it very difficult for up and coming talent to break in. Right from the start, we decided we wouldn’t look at the names.”

“With photographers from around the world, we find the festival’s themes usually reflect the issues that have dominated the globe in the last 12 months.

“We have five exhibits on Ukraine, one centred around a bikie gang in Iraq, a body of work which documents the logging industry in Tasmania, the incredible Lonka project showing the faces of Holocaust survivors decades on from World War Two as well as pieces that focus on aging, motherhood and anorexia.

“Sometimes an exhibition shines light on a group of people most of us hardly ever think about,” he says.

The annual competition celebrates photographic excellence across four categories: Portrait, Landscape, Environmental and a special category dedicated to school students behind the lens, with a total prize pool of $70,000, as well as equipment.

Head On Photo Festival 2023 is jam-packed with exhibitions and events across Sydney. Highlights include exhibition hubs at The Muse, TAFE NSW Ultimo and spectacular outdoor exhibitions at Bondi Beach and Paddington Reservoir Gardens. See the full program at

The Photo Festival runs from 10 November – 3 December 2023

About Head On Foundation 

The Head On Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation which believes all photo-artists deserve a fair chance to show their work. This is why work submitted to Head On Photo Festival and the Head On Photo Awards is judged without the artists’ names or pedigrees so the proposals stand on their merit alone. Head On has a well-earned reputation of operating with integrity and providing all photo-artists with invaluable opportunities to exhibit in Sydney and internationally.

Head On Foundation is dedicated to promoting the work of photographers at all stages of their career, encouraging excellence and innovation, making photography accessible to all, and raising awareness of important issues through photography. 

Over the years, Head On Foundation has put $700,000 in cash and products back into the arts industry through the Head On Photo Awards and supported thousands of photographic artists by producing and promoting their exhibitions.

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