Rebels footballers feature in Ballarat International Foto Biennale exhibition

IT might be an international event but the Ballarat International Foto Biennale promises to be a very local happening featuring some well-known faces about town.

The month-long event showcases the works of Australian and international photographers, including a strong showing from local photographers.

Football and fine art might seem poles apart but they come together in the street poster exhibition Why Do You Play? Federation University students photographed Rebels footballers during training to create a series of works examining the relationship between art and sport.

EYE ON THE BALL: Rebels players Callan Wellings and Flynn Appleby help Fiona Sweet marry footy with the Foto Festival. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

EYE ON THE BALL: Rebels players Callan Wellings and Flynn Appleby help Fiona Sweet marry footy with the Foto Festival. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

Greater Western Victoria Rebels manger Phil Partington jumped at the chance to be a part of the arts event.

“To see the Rebels brand within the program showcased in a different format, an art format, is fantastic,” he said. “Like a game of footy, you put in preparation to see the finished product. It’s great to see the process involved and how it works.

The Courier was given a sneak peak at the BIFB program’s local content ahead of the official program launch tonight.

Local works include an exhibition of astro photography and space art at the Ballarat Observatory, and exhibitions created by 12 local community organisations. 

Ballarat International Foto Bienalle director Fiona Sweet said photography would be spread through various streets, exploring not only the city’s heritage buildings but also cafes and other spaces not usually used for exhibitions.

“We intend to put art in the streets 24/7,” said new BIFB director Fiona Sweet.

“When I first came in as the new director of BIFB I was told there’s three major groups of cultural activity in Ballarat – football, health and arts,” she said. 

“The fact that football and football culture is so strong here in Ballarat I thought it’s a wonderful way to bring in the community, to encourage people who love football ​to engage with the arts.”

Ms Sweet said her goal with the BIFB was to celebrate both photography and Ballarat, and to engage locals.

”We are taking over the city for 30 days with more than 100 photographic exhibitions, workshops, talks and special events. All exhibitions, except the David LaChappelle exhibition, are free and open seven days a week.”

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale runs from August 19 to September 17. See ballaratfoto.org for more details.

FOOTY HEADLINES RICH PIC PROGRAM

IDENTITY, people and the places they come from are the focus for the Ballarat International Foto Biennale.

The photos on display come from around the globe, but there’s a strong home-grown element throughout the program.

IN THE PICTURE: Ballarat International Foto Biennale director Fiona Sweet snaps Greater Western Victoria Rebels ruckman Lloyd Meek in front of the photo wall in the changerooms at Eureka Stadium. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

IN THE PICTURE: Ballarat International Foto Biennale director Fiona Sweet snaps Greater Western Victoria Rebels ruckman Lloyd Meek in front of the photo wall in the changerooms at Eureka Stadium. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

The fringe program includes 12 community engagement projects with organisations including Pinarc, Berry St and Federation University.

The Ballarat Observatory will host A Field Guide to the Stars, a series of breath-taking snaps of galaxies seen with the naked eye, satellites, shooting stars and rolling clouds.

One of the big drawcards of the month-long festival will be iconic American photographer David LaChapelle who headlines this year’s BIFB.

The Ballarat Mining Exchange will host its first-ever indigenous photography exhibition, and a $15,000 cash Ballarat International Foto Biennale Martin Kantor Prize was recently announced for the best portrait photography.