Head On Photo Festival 2019

Join us for the launch of two exhibitions & discussion as part of the Head On Photo Festival 2019

Artist’s Talk: Dr Ella Dreyfus, Senior Lecturer, Head of Public Programs, National Art School
Guest Speaker: Professor Catharine Lumby, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University

LISTEN to Dr Ella Dreyfus discuss her work in an interview on ABC Radio National Life Matters, Friday 3 May at 9am
(then find the podcast here)

Dr Ella Dreyfus: Under Twenty-seven

Under Twenty-Seven is a solo exhibition by Australian artist Dr Ella Dreyfus that presents a series of poignant portraits which began as black and white photographs of her son and his soccer team when they were finishing primary school. The work tracks their growth with a new portrait every seven years and Dreyfus’ detailed photographs show the boys/men bare-chested against a deep black background. Each of them displays their own unique posture and subtle facial expressions, giving the works an intensely intimate quality. Sitting side by side, the triple portraits taken at ages eleven, eighteen and twenty-five, are a meditation on masculine development, as well as a sobering reminder of the passing of time. The exhibition provides an opportunity for audiences to reflect on the representation of masculinity in contemporary culture, by showing them in a way that is distinct from the narrow ideals generally found in the mass-media and advertising. Through the work, Dreyfus demonstrates a particular sensitivity to the experiences of the young men, who during these critical stages of their lives will undoubtedly have been influenced by the social demands and perceptions of masculine attitudes, looks and behaviours. In this society, men are often expected to repress certain emotions such as tenderness and empathy; in drawing attention to these issues the exhibition takes a probing approach to gender, representation, beauty and the body.

Exhibition dates 1 – 26 MAY 2019

Under Twenty-Seven is a featured exhibition of the Head On Photo Festival 2019 and will also be exhibited at the Bondi Pavilion Gallery, Bondi Beach, Sydney, 23 October – 3 November 2019.

NBN News featured Dr Ella Dreyfus and a snapshot of the exhibition at Watt Space: see the video here

IMAGE: Dr Ella Dreyfus, Under Twenty-Seven, SB, 2005, 2010, 2019, 460 x 460mm each, UltraChrome pigment on Canson

Beyond the Binary

Throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries photographic artists have been using photography to negotiate ideas of subjectivity, sexual difference and gender division. To do so, they have used diverse methods, such as documentary, constructed self-portraits and photo-montage. Influenced by earlier artists such as Claude Cahun and Hannah Höch, gender has become a key theme for artists working with the medium of photography today. Beyond the Binary is a diverse exhibition featuring artists experimenting with gender and its social construction through photography, which has leant itself to these issues because of its capacity to represent and transform the human body. The exhibition extends the current debates around gender and considers how it is marked by ongoing negotiations of power which cannot be understood outside of its intersections with race, class and sexuality. In the twenty-first century our experience of the body as a site of varying demands made by oneself and others, as well as the arena of countless fantasies and desires has become heightened through social media. For this reason, as well as shifting attitudes towards and mutable experiences of gender, both gender and the body continue to be pressing topics for artists.

Exhibition dates 1 – 26 MAY 2019

IMAGE: Clare Weeks, interior, 2009, inkjet print on cotton rag


UPCOMING Fable: the art and heart of storytelling


The culture of storytelling spans thousands of years, from Indigenous story, art and songlines to contemporary poetry, microfiction and the social media sphere. When we share our stories – whether in written, spoken, painted, sculpted or filmed form or in bodily expression through song or dance – we share part of ourselves and entrust it to an audience. Fable: the art and heart of storytelling is a collaboration of artists with stories to tell, investigating the transformative and connective nature of the storytelling ritual across mediums and generations.

3- 28 April

Friday 5 April
5pm for 5:30pm



Currently on at Watt Space Gallery, four exhibitions which opened on the eve of International Women’s day. This an all-women line up of inspirational shows is on till March 31.
Be sure to pop in to see the THE F WORD, featuring the work of Alessia Sakoff, Donna Jorna, Katrina Holden, Leanne Schubert, Megan McCarthy, Melissa Bull and Michelle Wellham, curated by Megan McCarthy, ART-BOOK-WORK by Sally Goodfellow, IF THE TREES COULD TALK, WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY WOULD SAY TO US? by Courtney Heffernan, and A FLOCK, A SWARM, A HERD, A SCHOOL, A POD by Deborah Redwood.
Gallery open Wednesday till Sunday 11-5pm.



Join the artists to celebrate the launch of four exhibitions: THE F WORD, featuring the work of Alessia Sakoff, Donna Jorna, Katrina Holden, Leanne Schubert, Megan McCarthy, Melissa Bull and Michelle Wellham, curated by Megan McCarthy, ART-BOOK-WORK by Sally Goodfellow, IF THE TREES COULD TALK, WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY WOULD SAY TO US? by Courtney Heffernan, and A FLOCK, A SWARM, A HERD, A SCHOOL, A POD by Deborah Redwood. Watt Space is a centre for creative practice, projects and bright ideas from students of the UoN.
Opening Night Event: Thursday 7 March 6pm- 8:00pm
Exhibition Dates: 6 – 31 March 2019
Gallery Hours: Wednesday till Sunday 11-5pm

Feb Mail Chimp_FINAL (2)We had a wonderful Opening night launch for these four incredible and moving exhibitions. Thank you to all those who attended this launch and to all our generous volunteers opening speakers and all our guests for their contribution to this event.

If you have not yet visited these shows you really should with such an exciting four exhibitions not to be missed. From the exquisite detail of the Collodion Glass plate negative photography, drawn from the archives of the GLAMX Living Histories, Josiah Cocking collection, whose 19th-century photography from the Wallsend coal miner will transport you to a historic Wallsend to the hauntingly beautiful series by up and coming, emerging artist Benjamin Crocker and the provocative commentary by photographer Scott Probst whos experimental photography challenge the viewer to consider an alternate history and finally the post-minimalist sculptures of Leeroy Chapman which explore the nature of materiality.

Gallery hours are Wednesday to Sunday 11 -5pm.

Watt Space Gallery 2019

Watt Space Gallery is starting the year with an excellent group of curated exhibitions from our talented UON students, including an exhibition supported by UON’s GLAMX Lab and uses the UON archives. Each exhibition delves into or responds to history, from 19th century photography to sculptural traditions, the cyanotype process invented in 1842 and portraits of ghosts that allude to Victorian superstitions.

Process and Reality by Leeroy Chapman; Headlines of future past by Scott Probst; Portraits of ghosts by Benjamin Crocker; and Dandelion: Josiah Cocking, curated by Jodi Vial and supported by the GLAMX Lab at Auchmuty Library.

Exhibitions dates are 6 February – 3 March 2019 with the opening launch on Thursday 7 February at 6pm.

scott probst image trump warhol 3 promo (2)

Image: TRUMP WARHOL 3 PROMO, cyanotype


download 2


Watt Space invites you to the first exhibition launch of 2019!!

Opening Night Event: Thursday 7 February 6pm- 8:00pm
Exhibition Dates: 6 February – 3 March 2019
Gallery Hours: Wednesday till Sunday 11-5pm

Dandelion: Josiah Cocking
Curated by Jodi Vial
Supported by the GLAMX lab at Auchmuty Library

The exhibition Dandelion: The words and images of Josiah Cocking, draws on a photographic and written archive donated by the Cocking family to the University of Newcastle in 1999. The archive includes photographic portraits of Josiah’s own and others’ families, but beyond that, it provides indelible images of life around the closing of the nineteenth century in outer-lying Newcastle towns. Josiah may have been behind the camera when many of the images were captured, but his archive provides a clear image of the man he was – his passion for poetry, his socialist heart, his joy and grief and his love of family. He often submitted poetry for publication under the pseudonym “Dan D. Lion”, and this exhibition reflects the nature of the dandelion to bloom briefly with great intention, to embrace the seasons of its life and to scatter the seeds of its memory far beyond the ground in which it once grew. The photographs included in this exhibition were chosen from the 221 images digitised in 2018 by the University’s Cultural Collections and available at livinghistories.newcastle.edu.au.

Process and Reality
Leeroy Chapman

‘Process and Reality’ Is about the state of which things exists. This idea is explored through a post-minimal installation which makes use of the obscure materials used throughout the casting process. By making use of crumpled, folded and draped materials as a way to suggest metaphorical notions of movement. As a result, they act as a sort of action sculpture, a contemporary means of the artist’s expression. Further engaging the viewer’s experience of the fundamental nature of materiality.

Headlines of future past
Scott Probst

Alternative processes speak of alternative times, usually reminiscing about the past. But we can turn the same techniques to the future, and consider what our history to come may be.

Benjamin Crocker

Exploring the idea of the photographic self-portrait beyond traditional definition, Portraits of Ghosts uses the documentation of a diverse collection of materials to consider a less conventional idea of self. Visualising the forms and the planes of the face through the fabric, plastic and paper the works considers identity in an uncanny and haunting way that draws allusion to the mortal, dying self. Documenting the absent images of no one at all this exhibit confronts the human condition in a sombre yet unsettling way.