Ballarat International Foto Biennale is transforming every corner of Ballarat with photographic art
08.11.2021

Ballarat International Foto Biennale is transforming every corner of Ballarat with photographic art

Gideon Mendel, Submerged Portraits, Alfred Deakin Place

Comprising 260 artists across 100 venues, the 2021 Biennale is not one to be missed.

One of Australia’s most significant arts festivals, the Ballarat International Foto Biennale (BIFB), has returned to Victoria’s biggest goldfields towns for its 16th edition.

Now running until January 9 2022 (having been extended following a swathe of delays due to Victoria’s lockdowns), the annual event features 260 artists across 100 venues in the town-wide exhibition, alongside 25 Australian premieres, a world premiere, public art, projections, curator and artist talks, award announcements, foto walks, and food and drink experiences.

With more exhibitions and artists than ever before taking over the buildings, galleries, cafés, streets and walls of the city, the 2021 Biennale is providing regional Victoria with an incredible, immersive photographic experience.

The key takeaways

  • The Ballarat International Foto Biennale has been extended until January 9 2022
  • The BIFB will take over galleries, cafes, bars and laneways throughout Ballarat for its 16th edition
  • This year you can book either a single day or three-day pass, with tickets on sale now.

Keep up with the latest in regional art and local events via our website.

Since its beginnings in 2005, the Biennale is held every two years, attracting significant International and Australian photographers as one of Australia’s pre-eminent photographic festivals.

The not-for-profit event showcases work from domestic and international artists that is new, previously unseen in Australia or contextualised afresh; alongside a brilliant Open Program that fosters the development of emerging artists. There are also public programs and education programs comprising talks, workshops and prizes which round out a rich and diverse cultural event that attracts more than 30,000 people, delivering significant economic and cultural impact.

At the centre of the 2021 program is the previously-announced Australian premiere and exclusive of the Linda McCartney: Retrospective, encompassing more than 200 photographs by the world-famous photographer.

Curated by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney, the retrospective offers an intimate look into the life of the McCartney family along with photographs of the ’60s music scene, and a series of never-before-seen prints from McCartney’s time in Australia. All festival passes include a ticketed entry to this exclusive exhibition.

 

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The core program also includes Australian exclusive ‘We will all eventually return to the earth’ bringing together contemporary First Nations artists who interrogate notions of colonisation, ownership and cultural legacy through the photographic medium; ‘Notes from a Queer Mystic’ which celebrates Steven Arnold, a quintessential icon ahead of his time; ‘Raining Embers’, made in response to the devastating Australian bushfires of 2019-2020; ‘The Poverty Line’ which sees artists Chow and Lin (Stefen Chow and Huiyi Lin) use the universal lens of food to examine the daily choices faced by those living on the poverty line; and ‘24HRS in Photos’, which responds to the ongoing and ubiquitous overload of images, exploring our evolving relationship with photography during a globalised, hypermediated era in contemporary society.

An especially poignant exhibition this year will be ‘Number One’, paying tribute to music icon Michael Gudinski. In this Australian exclusive, we’ll see images from Australian music photographers who have submitted photographs capturing artists under the Mushroom Group and Frontier Touring banner. An ode to Michael Gudinski, whose passion for music was legendary, this exhibition celebrates his advocacy for the arts.

All Core Program indoor exhibitions are open Thursday – Sunday every week, and ticketed alongside the digital program filled with online conversations, presentations and virtual exhibitions and a free Outdoor Program which features a world of curated exhibitions.

 

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This year you can book either a single day or three-day pass, with tickets on sale now. The 2021 Ballarat International Foto Biennale runs until January 9 2022. Head to the BIFB website for more info.