Culture and heritage

Spectacular photo festival seeks new snaps

People walking past a large photographic installation featuring South Sudanese artist Atong Atem

Be swept away by astounding images and see your artwork on show in the next instalment of Australia’s largest photography festival.

PHOTO brings spectacular photography from artists across Australia and around the world to the streets of Melbourne in a series of outdoor exhibitions, creating a trail of contemporary art across the city.

In 2022, the festival staged 90 exhibitions in partnership with more than 50 cultural institutions, museums, galleries and universities, showcasing 123 artists’ work on the theme: Being Human.

Large-scale artworks were installed outside iconic buildings like the Parliament of Victoria. There were walking and cycling tours, and inspiring artists, curators and academics spoke at a series of events.

It was a remarkable achievement that saw PHOTO 2022 win our Melbourne Award for Arts and Events. The team is now gearing up to do it all again next year.

Clare McKenzie, Executive Director of Photo Australia, said the PHOTO 2024 International Festival of Photography will build on the successes of the last two biennials, returning to iconic locations and new sites.

“Thematically, the festival will explore ideas around the future, and will again celebrate and present the most inspiring contemporary photography of our time,” Clare said.

Open Call for photographers and artists

Photo Australia has just launched a worldwide Open Call for artists and photographers to participate in PHOTO 2024’s outdoor exhibition program. Applications are open until Tuesday 21 February.

“We want to see artists and photographers’ visions of the future. As the world encounters ecological, social and political uncertainty, PHOTO 2024 will explore what lies ahead,” Clare said.

“Proposals are invited that reflect on possible and parallel futures across the thematic strands of Social Futures, Environmental Futures, Indigenous Futures and Technological Futures.”

The Open Call invites applications from emerging, mid-career and established artists and photographers from across Australia and overseas. Applications will be judged by a panel of industry experts.

The selected photographers and artists will see their work exhibited ambitious displays across Melbourne.

To learn more, visit Photo Australia.

About the Melbourne Awards

Now in its 20th year, the Melbourne Awards are the City of Melbourne’s highest accolade, celebrating the inspirational Melburnians who dedicate their time and energy to making this city a world leader.

Clare said the Photo Australia team was thrilled to receive a Melbourne Award for PHOTO 2022.

“Receiving this recognition is an important acknowledgement of not only our work but the work of our partners who share our vision and make Melbourne the vibrant photographic hub that it is,” Clare said.

“The Award has inspired us to expand PHOTO 2024 further, commissioning more artists and being even more adventurous in how we bring accessible and inspiring art to the streets of Melbourne.”

For more information, visit Melbourne Awards.

Image credit: Atong Atem, ‘Surat’, PHOTO 2022 installation view, Photo: Will Hamilton-Coates

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