Event Preview: The 10th Underbelly Arts Lab and Festival hits Sydney next month

The Underbelly Arts Lab and Festival is returning for its 10th year, taking place at the National Art School in Darlinghurst from 7-8 October. A two week Lab period will host 116 artists from around Australia and showcase twenty one ambitious new projects from 25 September until 6 October.

Ticket holders will be able to participate in tours from 6pm each evening during the Lab, offering a rare opportunity to see artists develop new work.

The Underbelly Arts Lab and Festival will be a celebration of experimental contemporary art across a diverse range of mediums including installation, performance, dance, sound, visual art, intervention, digital art and more.

“Our 2017 program highlights include an immersive dance performed in an enveloping pink membrane, a six-hour durational feminist performance work inspired by the internet,” Festival Director, Roslyn Helper said. 

Roslyn added that other exciting acts to look out for include, “a waterfront seagull apocalypse that signifies the impending rising of the seas, a merch stand offering purchasable art collectables by Underbelly artist, and a public complaints service, where peoples’ complaints will be interpreted and performed by an orchestral ensemble.”

Program Highlights:

Collaborative duo, Pony Express, led by playwright and performance maker Ian Sinclair and transdisciplinary artist Loren Kronemyer will present Sixth Wave – a work reflecting on themes of environment, apocalypse and the future. Each day of the festival, the collective will perform a waterfront spectacle in the bay at Woolloomooloo, where they paddle a kayak into the water and cover themselves in hot chips, using the power of crowds and seagulls to create a chaotic ocean choreography. The work brings to light our inefficacy in dealing with the impending rising of the seas.

Harriet Gillies and Natalie Abbott will present a six-hour performance titled WATERMELON that explores their experiences of the internet and the many ways it manifests aesthetically, emotionally and politically, both IRL and online. Expect an image-driven internet-inspired theatrical spectacle that embraces and ridicules our collective obsession with pop culture and the excesses of internet binge culture.

Make or Break is an ongoing collaboration between Sydney artists Connie Anthes and Rebecca Gallo. For Underbelly Arts 2017, Make or Break will work with fellow festival artists to produce souvenir items that will be sold to audiences from a roving Merch Stand during the Lab and Festival.

Where: National Art School, Darlinghurst.
When: Monday 25 September – Friday 6 October, with the Festival taking place over two days on 7 – 8 October 2017.

Tickets include access to all Lab events and both days of the Festival and are on sale from Thursday 22 June 2017 at underbellyarts.com.au/tickets