Five fleeting outdoor artworks in PHOTO 2021

Get in quick to discover epic photographic installations at more than 40 locations across Melbourne, as part of a festival that closes on 7 March.

PHOTO 2021 offers a packed program of outdoor art, gallery exhibits, walks and talks showcasing stunning images from more than 120 local and international artists.

Hours after the recent five-day lockdown ended, the festival team began work before sunrise to install artworks before the festival launch, which took place against a backdrop of 300 portraits in Federation Square.

The fleeting Inside Out portrait exhibition, initiated by French artist JR, invited members of the public from more than 25 nations to submit photos of themselves with their answer to the question: “What is your truth?”.

To glimpse this 1000 square-metre artwork, check out this video from our Instagram channel (and look out for local photographer Mark Hopper standing next to his own likeness).

If you missed seeing Inside Out in real life, don’t despair. There are plenty more opportunities to enjoy the PHOTO 2021 program, including this bike tour with festival producer Brendan McLeary.

Here are five more outdoor installations not to miss.

1. The Rise and Fall
Outdoors at 99 Spring Street
See jumbo prints of photography from vintage rock-climbing journals scaling city walls in this work is by City of Melbourne arts grant recipient Laura Delaney. The Rise and Fall invites us to consider the tension between capitalism and environmental crisis. To learn more, take a guided walk led by the artist on Sunday 7 March. Bookings are required.

2. Garden Variety: Photography, Politics and the Picturesque
Outdoors at the Royal Botanic Gardens
Wind your way through the gardens and explore photographic installations by eight artists, sensitively mapped with their surrounds. Garden Variety challenges the idea that a garden exists as an idyllic and politically neutral space. Join curator Isobel Parker Philip and select artists for a free walking tour of the artworks on Saturday 27 February. Bookings are required.

3. Near this spot
Outdoors at Gordon Reserve
Explore an installation that seeks to dissect and debunk Captain James Cook’s revered presence in the Australian colonial narrative, which ignores the sovereignty of First Nations people. Near this spot was created by City of Melbourne arts grant recipient Kate Golding. To understand more about this work, take a guided walk with the artist on Saturday 6 March. Bookings are required.

One of Kate Golding’s artworks in Gordon Reserve

4. I Will Survive
Outdoors at the State Library of Victoria forecourt
Wander through the library forecourt to discover this large-scale photographic installation based on stories that have been passed down through generations, encompassing warnings, myths, ghost stories and hauntings. I Will Survive was created by Aboriginal artist Hayley Millar-Baker, a City of Melbourne arts grant recipient.

5. Legenda
Outdoors on Flinders Walk at Northbank
Follow four popular characters from Indonesian folklore through Melbourne settings in this new work by Signal Young Creatives Lab artists Natasha Hertanto and Helena Wijaya. Incorporating photography, textiles and murals, Legenda interrogates oral stories, value systems and narratives of identity. Opens 4 March.

To view the full program of festival installations and events, visit the PHOTO 2021 Calendar.

PHOTO 2021 is proudly supported by the City of Melbourne.