Being a photographer, the focus for me was always going to be the Ballarat International Foto Biennale. But, in hindsight, everything about this Art & Culture Weekend was a highlight and this was something I really didn’t expect.
The Provincial Hotel was a total surprise. From the beautiful room to the exceptional service, I could have very happily kicked off my shoes and stayed in for the evening. But there was a BIFB launch to attend and I didn’t want to miss it. In the photo, I can be seen snapping just some of the very special guests.
Dinner afterwards was at the Pub With Two Names. I could talk ambience and food but no, this place is actually part of Bromley’s portfolio. Yes, that is original artwork on the wall.
First thing Saturday, I was at Fika Coffee Brewers. The coffee here is every bit as good as the very best in Melbourne and just look at that breakfast.
Soldiers is a series of 22 photographs taken over a six-year period by Adi Nes. It is considered to be a most significant, contemporary, Israeli collection and I was going to see it, in person, without having to trek to the other side of the world. That’s me just putting this experience into perspective.
After lunch at Kittelty’s, I heard the Chinese artist and activist, Liu Bolin, talk about his inspirations. So later, at his Camouflage exhibition, I could see this work through his eyes.
Reflecting the tense relationship between society and the individual, Bolin’s work explores the risks of becoming invisible. And yes, you will find yourself looking for camouflaged Liu in each and every piece.
Lola Montez brought interpretive dance to Ballarat. So where better to have dinner than at the Provincial Hotel’s restaurant, named in her honour? A delicious meal.
Breakfast on Sunday, at Webster’s Market and Café, was just the spot to stop before setting off for a century of Bauhaus. Much more than a school, it’s a total art movement combining many and varied disciplines. By this stage I was asking, how could this Biennale possibly get any better?
With so many exhibits at The National Centre for Photography, yet again I was in my element and this continued with a light lunch at Mitchell Harris Wines.
The Ballarat International Foto Biennale is on until October 20. With even more on offer at a host of other venues, I’m already thinking about another weekend.