Salar Niknafs is a multidisciplinary artist, researcher and art director currently based in Melbourne. Working with photography, video, sound and music, in his art he primarily engages with experimental aesthetic forms. A keen advocate of art-science collaborations, Salar’s research explores concepts and methods at the intersection of art and science in an attempt to act as a mediator between the two. As an art director Salar offers brand consultancy, visual identity, still and moving image campaigns, visual media content creation and digital strategy.

Salar completed a Doctorate of Philosophy in Materials Science for which he was awarded a Discovery Grant from the Australian Research Council. His thesis studied patterns that self-organise during solidification of metallic systems and analysed the impact of physical parameters that determine such formations. Before that he received his Masters through an ARC Grant and began his education at the University of Tehran.

Salar’s work is presented internationally in the context of conferences, workshops, music venues and exhibitions including FILE Electronic Language International Festival (Rio De Janeiro), Life Framer (Rome), Society for Photographic Education media festival and national conference (Orlando), Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Award finalists exhibition (Gold Coast) and Incinerator Art Award for Social Change finalists exhibition (Melbourne).


Awards and Grants


  • 2017   Winner - Best Landscape, Melbourne Documentary Film Festival (MDFF), Melbourne, Australia.
  • 2017   Finalist - Wyndham Art Prize, Wyndham Art Gallery, Werribee, Australia.
  • 2016   First Prize - Brunswick Street Gallery Prize, Click 16, Melbourne, Australia.
  • 2016   Finalist - Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award, Judged by Professor Susan Best.
  • 2016   Finalist - Incinerator Art Award: Art for Social Change, Judged by Dr Vincent Alessi, Hannah Mathews and Jason Smith.
  • 2016   Finalist - Stanthorpe Art Prize, Judged by Ron Ramsey and Dr Kyla McFarlane.
  • 2016   Finalist - CLIP Awards, Perth Centre for Photography, Judged by Cristina De Middel, Marie Bonnal and Dr Christopher Crouch.
  • 2008-2012   Recipient of Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, Led by Professor Rian Dippenaar, Amount $80,000.
  • 2008-2012   Recipient of Research Top-Up Grant, University of Wollongong, Amount $10,000.
  • 2009   First Prize - Materials Australia Jules Byrnes Award, NSW, Australia.
  • 2006-2008   Recipient of Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, Led by Professor Rian Dippenaar, Amount $46,000.


Solo Exhibitions


  • 2017   'In Absence', solo exhibition, Brunswick Street Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
  • 2007   'Nostalgia' solo photography exhibition, University of Wollongong, Australia.


Screenings


  • 2018   Unseen experimental cinema and film festival, Counterpath, Denver, CO, USA.
  • 2018   FILE Video Art, The Body is The Message, Electronic Language International Festival, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • 2018   Adelaide Festival Centre (AFC) Moving Image Program, Adelaide, Australia.
  • 2017   FILE – Electronic Language International Festival, Rio De Janeiro & Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • 2017   SPE Media Festival and National Conference, The Society for Photographic Education, Orlando, FL, USA.
  • 2016   6th BIDEODROMO International Experimental Film & Video Festival, Bilbao, Spain.
  • 2016   Future Landscapes: 3rd Borders International Art & Architecture Festival, Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi and Venice Art House, Venice, Italy.
  • 2016   Emerging Art Australia, InnerSpace Gallery, Prahran, Melbourne, Australia.
  • 2016   Oxygen: Fragmented Cities, Jorge Jurado Art Studio, Bogotá, Colombia.
  • 2016   Labyrinth: Experimental Art, Architecture, and Design Festival, Bahcesehir University of Rome, Rome, Italy.


Recent Group Exhibitions


  • 2018   Absences group photography exhibition, Millepiani, Rome, Italy.
  • 2017   PCP Collective, Perth Centre for Photography (PCP), Perth, Australia.
  • 2017   'Of Kin and Kind' group photographic exhibition, The Victorian Archives Centre Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
  • 2017   Wyndham Art Prize, Wyndham Art Gallery, Werribee, Australia.
  • 2016   Life Framer Rome, 2nd Edition of Life Framer Photography Exhibition, Officine Fotografiche, Rome, Italy.
  • 2016   Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award Finalists Exhibition, Gold Coast Art Centre, Australia.
  • 2016   Incinerator Art Award for Social Change, Incinerator Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
  • 2016   PCP Collective, Perth Centre for Photography (PCP), Perth, Australia.
  • 2016   'Structures' Photography Exhibition, LoosenArt, Via San Domenico 52, Cagliari, Italy.
  • 2016   CLIP Awards Finalists Exhibition, Perth Centre for Photography, Perth, Australia.
  • 2016   CLICK 16 Annual Photography Art Prize, Brunswick Street Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
  • 2016   IPF Photo Prize, Independent Photography Festival, The Good Copy, Melbourne, Australia.
  • 2016   1st LoosenArt Exhibition Collective, LAB-A, Via San Domenico 52, Cagliari, Italy.
  • 2016   Stanthorpe Art Festival Finalists Exhibition. Stanthorpe Regional Art Gallery, Australia.
  • 2016   'Tehran, the invisible city', Published online in Capture Magazine.
  • 2016   BSG SmallWorks Prize 2016, Brunswick Street Gallery, Melbourne, Australia.
  • 2015   CCP Salon group exhibition, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne, Australia.

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