The ONE Project @ HeadOn {HeadOn Photo Festival}


Curated by portrait photographer Hilary Wardhaugh, this ambitious exhibition showcases 29 works by 28 photographers. The images were made using one camera and one roll of film, passed between each photographer over a period of six months. The exhibition explores the nature of the photographic image in our digital age. Wardhaugh states:

The ONE Project is a comment that today with access to technology we make millions of images every day, which often renders the ‘image’ to digital noise. I wanted to create simplicity, by limiting myself to only making ONE image of a person, captured in-camera, with no photo manipulation, making the portrait considered, increasing its half-life and its emotional and social value.

The ONE Project is a timely and poetic antidote to the flood of images we see through a screen on a daily basis. As a commercial photographer, Wardhaugh noticed how much of her time was spent in front of the computer, sifting through and editing hundreds of images. Out of those hundreds of images, Wardhaugh realised that ‘often only one image is used, the hero image, with the rest rendered to digital noise, albeit kept on record and deemed necessary to keep’. In contrast, The ONE Project limits photographers to only one image so that no frame has been wasted.

The ONE Project focuses on the type of photography that offers the strongest proof of our existence: portraiture. The exhibition is inspired by photographic theorist Susan Sontag’s statement that ‘Photography furnishes evidence… A photograph passes for incontrovertible proof that a given thing happened’. The exhibition asks, if that is true, why we need more than one photographic portrait as proof of our existence. The stakes are high. With only one chance to make the portrait, both the process and the portrait become precious.

About The ONE Project | Hilary Wardhaugh

This group exhibition was inspired by the fact that in today’s world, we take so many photos of ourselves, families and friends. Nothing seems fully considered, and often it is quite a narcissistic endeavour, as if to say ‘this is me, this is what I am doing, it is wonderful’. Our digital footprint is ever expanding.

This exhibition was made with one 35mm roll of FUJI pro400H film, one Nikon FM-2 camera with a f1.8 50mm lens. Each photographer was given one frame to make one portrait. The camera was housed in a box to travel to each photographer. In the box was also a hand-made book, in which the photographer made notes on their choice of subject and the thoughts and processes considered prior to making their portrait. The box, book and camera are on display in this exhibition, alongside the images. Each portrait was only seen by its author until the show was hung, increasing the sense of expectation rarely felt in this digital age.

By only having one chance to create one portrait, the photographers have had the opportunity to consider every detail before making that one exposure: the subject, the context, the composition, the lighting, the posing, the camera technique… One chance to get it right, as if it is the only image their subject will have to prove that they exist/ed.


Exhibiting artists: Tim Anger, Samantha Birch, Madeline Bishop, Jeremy Byrnes, Geoff Comfort, Rowan Conroy, Grace Costa, Sean Davey, Geoffrey Dunn, Denise Ferris, William Hall, Lindi Heap, Leonie Keogh, Katie Kolenberg, Cathy Laudenbach, Mark Mohell, Jennifer Nagy, Dan O’Day, Candice Ottaway, David Paterson, George Serras, Julian Stevenson, Rohan Thomson, Kelly Tunney and Hilary Wardhaugh.



The ONE Project is supported by DES, Nikon Australia, ANU School of Art Inkjet Research Facility and ILFORD through C.R. Kennedy & Company Pty Ltd.


Actors Centre Australia

Italian Forum Cultural Centre
23 Norton Street
Leichhardt NSW 2040

HOURS: Monday to Sunday 10-4pm

By Julian Stevenson
Wild Bill By Rohan Thomson
By Rowan Conroy
By Denise Ferris
Jolly Green Giant by David Paterson
My Muse by Jeremy Byrnes
Jeremy Byrnes by Katie Kolenberg

By Candice Ottaway
By Kelly Tunney
By Geoffrey Dunn
By Will Hall
By Geoff Comfort
By Grace Costa
By Jennifer Nagy
By Leonie Keogh
By Sean Davey
By George Serros
By Lindi Heap
Samuel Townsend – By Mark Mohell
My Parents by Hilary Wardhaugh
by Madeline Bishop
By Samantha Birch

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