AUG 2011 - Ballarat International Foto Biennale - Australia

This year Ballarat will play host to the International Foto Biennale. The aim: to promote photography in all its forms, to educate, inspire and question, by presenting photography from the world to Australia and from Australia to the world.

The only Australian exhibition/event to be a part of the Festival de la Luz (Festival of Light) a grouping of 26 festivals of photography from more than 20 countries worldwide that includes some of the most important photographic events in the world, the International Foto Biennale kicks off in the arty Melbourne suburb of Daylesford in 2005. The festival moved to Ballarat in 2009 – and proved so popular that the 2011 event was also scheduled to take place in the Victorian township.

With over two hundred artists and over seventy exhibitors and almost two hundred events, the Ballarat Internation Foto Biennale (BIFB) looks to set to provide its strongest program yet. With fringe and mainstream events on offer, the Foto Bienalle presents an array of themes and subjects from hope and longing to re-imagined streetscapes and regional landscapes. Photographic works on show included exhibits from renowned photographers such as Duffy (no not the singer) and Jan Saudek.

Comments Esther Gyorki from BIFB, “The Ballarat Internation Foto Biennale is one of the biggest photography festivals in Australia and the only photography festival of its kind in Victoria, therefore, it is unparalleled in what it provides to both the Victorian and Australian communities. Alongside showing world-class exhibitions by Australian and international photographers, portfolio reviews with gallery directors, curators, photographers, journalists, and academics as well as seminars, a large format weekend and a print swap.”

Gyorki believes that the BIFB lays an important role in showcasing the works of Australian photographers. “Our vision is to celebrate Australian photographers and Australian photography on the world stage. Photography is the premier art medium of the 21st century. Our aim is to educate, inspire and question by presenting photography from the world to Australia and from Australia to the world.”

With the BIFB taking almost two years to curate, a festival is a mammoth event. Gyorki says that the visitors can expect “exciting and stimulating exhibitions and events – with all core programs (and many fringe programs) within five minutes walk of one another.”

She hopes that upon seeing the many works on offer, that photographers will find inspiration for new creations and be encouraged by “the breadth and strength of Australian works on show.”

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