Ballarat International Foto Biennale Day 2

Day 2 of the drive to Ballarat was usual, clear day and reach my destination safely. Initially I had only one destination, that is the Anterior Exhibition, showcasing work from past and present students from Melbourne Polytechnic at University of Ballarat. But I ended up going to a few more exhibitions before I head back to Melbourne.

I will dedicate the Anterior Exhibition in the next blog, it deserve a full page blog on its own. Yes, I’m biased as I’m a former student and I have two prints exhibiting in it.

My intention was to return to Melbourne straight after the Anterior Exhibition, but I need to rest my butt from the long drive so I went over to Art Gallery of Ballarat to see more core exhibitions. First up is the work of Stephen Dupont, an Australian documentary photographer from Sydney. Had seen his work before at MGA years ago and this show is quite similar to the one I had seen before. I thought as one of the main criteria for shows being accepted into BIFB Core program, work cannot have been previously exhibited in Australia, no?

Anyway, it’s none of my business, they can invite who they want and accept who they can. Next up was Jurgen Scriba’s ‘Elements_1’. If you love to look at fire flame, this is the show for you. 

The next gallery is Perth photographer, Leon Bird’s ‘Mrs Patronis Guest House’. It’s a series of photographs documenting a guest house in a historic gold mine town northeast of Perth.

On a side note, the guy wearing red in the picture above was taking a photograph of every prints on the wall, you can hear the camera sound from far. Don’t your camera have a silent mode? And I don’t understand if you love the work so much, why do you have to take every single image of the prints? There is a price tag below mate! Just purchase it!

Jane Long’s ‘Dancing With Costica’ was next. Using archival imagery and transform them into surreal context. In another word, image manipulation with great retouching skill is needed. Although I’m not one who love to do this kind of work, the concept is very interesting. Worth a closer look!

My favourite have to be this show, Nicolas Dhervillers ‘Road Movie’. Landscape and cars, legendary and vintage cars, the best combination probably. I was looking at the details from the huge prints and it was so good. Definitely worth spending more time at gallery space all the way to the back of Art Gallery of Ballarat. 

Leaving the Art Gallery of Ballarat, I went for lunch, alone. Then saw a Facebook post from Andrew Robert Morgan about his mate, Michael Masters exhibition at Ballarat Library, 178 Doveton Street. It’s within walking distance from the Core program’s venue so decided to head over for a look. Happen that there are a few shows in the library.

The exhibition venue is on the right side of the library once you enter through the door. The first one is Sandra Chen Weinstein’s ‘Women of Arab Spring’, very intimate portraits of Arab women and their communities showing their resilience, pride and empowerment. Sandra also has another exhibition ‘California’ and ‘American Pride’ at S Morgan Creative on 119A Sturt Street.

Next up is Richard Chenhall, Senior Lecturer in Medical Anthropology in the Centre for Health Equity at the University of Melbourne. His show ‘Kenso - Street Life in Japan’ documented the rich tapestry of street life in Japan and to explore an accompanied website Sonic Japan, which is accessible on smart phone.  

The third exhibition belongs to Michael Masters’ ‘H St, Washington D.C. - 2014/2015’. His images presented are part of a larger collection of work produced during autumn and winter of 2014/2015 and include images of urban redevelopment projects and portraits of local residents in H St, Washington D.C.

The last show in the library is ‘Yangon Echoes’ from Magnet Galleries. With a sensitive eye, photographer Tim Webster records the lives of Yangon residents in their crumbling palaces and pays due honour to their fortitude and their determination to maintain ancestral connections.

On a side note, if you are planning to visit the Ballarat Library during the weekend, the opening hours are 9:30am - 1pm on Saturday and 1:15pm - 4pm on Sunday.

So with the library closing soon, I left the place walking back to my car to start the 123km drive back to Melbourne. It was a wet drive as it was raining midway on Western Freeway. Quite an eventful two days visit to regional Victoria and makes me think a lot about having my own show one of these days or probably BIFB’17. After having so much inspiration, I need to go back and shoot more!

Next blog post will be on the Anterior Exhibition.

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