International photographic artists Yvonne Todd and Erik Johansson headline Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2023

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International photographic artists Yvonne Todd and Erik Johansson headline Ballarat International Foto Biennale 2023

Yvonne Todd New Portia, 2018 (cropped)

Exclusive to Ballarat, the striking photographs of Yvonne Todd and Erik Johansson will headline the Ballarat International Foto Biennale.

Two internationally acclaimed photographic artists, Yvonne Todd and Erik Johansson, are set to headline the 2023 Ballarat International Foto Biennale when it makes its grand return this August.

Returning for its 10th year, the bi-annual Foto Biennale will once again turn the regional Victorian city of Ballarat into a temporary cultural archive, boasting an artefact repository of global significance. From galleries to laneways, city streets to businesses, and historic buildings, the Biennale will showcase the works of both international and Australian photographers, offering a unique perspective on the world we live in.

Keep up with the latest in regional art and local events here.

Joining previously announced headline exhibition People Power – Platon, a comprehensive exhibition of photographer Platon’s portraits, the immersive, world-class event has added two mesmerising headline exhibitions featuring the work of internationally renowned photographic artists Yvonne Todd (New Zealand) and Erik Johansson (Sweden).

Making its Australian premiere, Yvonne Todd’s The Stephanie Collection will feature compelling photographs and moving image, enticing curious audiences to look twice and explore their comfort levels and awkward feelings towards the works.

The New Zealand-based photographer is known for her unique and unconventional approach to portraiture and in 2019 Yvonne was a recipient of a Laureate Award from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand. Yvonne’s work challenges photographic cliches by manipulating traditional photographic styles to create unexpected and provocative relationships.

Yvonne’s unsettling images often feature characters in striking costumes in unnatural poses. Their unfathomable glossy complexions, and a hint of ghoulishness: wigs, fake teeth, and prosthetics are highly styled and manipulated.


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In another exclusive to Ballarat, the world premiere of Swedish photographer Erik Johansson’s breathtaking suite of surreal landscapes and optical illusions that defy reality is a journey through the imaginary worlds he creates.

In this Australian premiere exhibition, How To Fly is influenced by Erik’s childhood memories of the Swedish countryside. Throughout his works in this unique display, Johansson incorporates Nordic nature, wide open landscapes and small red houses. Johansson’s process is a complex, time-consuming combination of his own photographs, and the photographer creates just 6-8 new works per year.

This will be an exhibition of large-scale works to take you away from daily life for immersion in fantastical lands.

These truly mesmerising works from two incredible photographers promise to prompt the audience to question, explore and be changed by photographic art.


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Vanessa Gerrans, CEO Ballarat International Foto Biennale said these two internationally renowned artists are a major coup for Ballarat and will draw curious audiences from across the country.

‘What an honour to have two of today’s leading contemporary photographers here in Ballarat for our 10th Biennale. As the nation’s capital of photography, we look forward to welcoming Yvonne and Erik to Ballarat and seeing audiences respond to their extraordinary work,’ said Vanessa.

For lovers of photography – and in this day and age, who isn’t – Ballarat will be a must-visit this year.

You will be able to explore Yvonne Todd’s The Stephanie Collection at Art Gallery of Ballarat for free, and see Erik Johansson’s How To Fly at The Mining Exchange in a ticketed exhibition. 

Ballarat International Foto Biennale is on from 25 August to 22 October 2023. The full program of events, exhibitions and talks plus tickets available in July at