Tag Archive: Underbelly Arts

NAVA has joined forces with firstdraft to present ‘We Are Here’, the first national ARI networking event which aims to provide an opportunity for critical discussion, workshops and keynote presentations alongside a full exhibition and event program.

From 1–4 September, the symposium will be taking place in numerous venues around Sydney, including our very own FraserStudios, plus Serial Space, firstdraft gallery & depot, PACT centre for emerging artists, and Kudos Gallery.

We’re also excited to announce that QSS co-founder & co-director Sam Chester will be taking part in a symposium event presented by NAVA and Underbelly Arts, called “The Business Of Coming Together”. Taking place at Customs House on Friday 2 September from 1-6pm, the afternoon will involve moderated panel discussions, roundtable sessions and an open advice session.

For only $35 (plus booking fee) you can take part in the full symposium and workshop program or there are cheaper options if you can only make it for a day or two.

Click here to download the full schedule and find out more information.


We can barely keep our current six month emerging Visual Arts Residents Team MESS in Sydney long enough to ask them some questions about what they’re up to at the moment … it was Perth last week, where they were showing This Is It at PICA (Perth Institute of Contemporary Art), and Melbourne this week as part of the 2012 Nextwave Kickstart program. Clearly world domination is on the agenda for this contemporary art and performance collective, made up of performers Malcolm Whittaker, Natalie Randall, Sime Knezevic, Frank Mainoo and Dara Gill.

This Is It — Liveworks

Getting together as University Of Wollongong students (alongside other UOW alumni  like Applespiel, Sexy Tales Comedy Collective, and Butterfries) Team MESS have had an impressive couple of years as emerging artists, developing the highly acclaimed Killing Don: Evolution of a memory at the Underbelly Arts Festival in 2008, working with PACT centre for emerging artists, and receiving residencies at Performance Space, where hybrid film / performance / installation work This Is It was developed and later featured in last year’s Liveworks Festival. Add to these achievements various solo pursuits (Malcolm Whittaker’s A Lover’s Discourse was part of last year’s Liveworks Festival and he’s been part of various solo residencies and exhibitions of late, Nat Randall’s Cheer Up Kid was a part of this year’s Tiny Stadiums, and Sime Knezevic’s The Bonfire was recently staged at Newtown Theatre) and we’ve got ourselves a performance group to keep an eye on over the next few years!

Here at Queen Street Studio they’re working on their Next Wave project, creating crime site installations to develop a new video work. We’ll check in with its development later on in their residency, but for now we’re looking forward to seeing film excerpts from This Is It at our FraserStudios Open Day on Sunday 31 July from 1-5pm, as well as informal chat with the artists themselves at 2pm.

Click here to head to the Team MESS website and here to find out more info about our Open Day on Sunday!


Alejandro Rolandi was one of Queen Street Studio’s first Performing Arts Residents over two years ago and since then we have watched as his aerial and physical theatre collective Strings Attached has moved forward in leaps and bounds… excuse the pun.

CarriageWorks is currently supporting the development of the final stages of Return To The Trees, a production which investigates the psychological transformations that society may experience as a consequence of overpopulation, technological advancement and climate change.

And if you were at Underbelly Arts Festival last weekend, you might have been one of the lucky three hundred or so who squeezed in to watch Strings Attached’s stunning new work Ojo, a collaboration with highly acclaimed director Younes Bachir, an ex-collaborator for La Fura dels Baus. Ojo was developed over a gruelling ten-day Lab period, with the performers committed to long hours and freezing temperatures.

It’s not very often that you see aerialists hanging from heritage listed beams of an industrial site like Cockatoo Island’s Turbine Hall, so it really was a sight to behold! Here are come images from guest Underbelly Arts photographers Gemma Pitcher and Catherine McElhone, documenting both the development and the one-off performance of Ojo.

Photographer: Gemma Pitcher

Photographer: Gemma Pitcher

Photographer: Gemma Pitcher

Photographer: Catherine McElhone

Photographer: Catherine McElhone

Photographer: Catherine McElhone

We’d suggest following these guys on facebook so you don’t miss out on their next performance, which is sure to push as many boundaries and be just as beautiful as this one!

For more images from these fantastic photographers, visit their websites:



And last but not least, head to the Underbelly Arts website to catch up on all the action from the Lab & Festival.


One of the most exciting winter arts festivals coming up in the next month is Underbelly Arts 2011, which combines a 1-day festival experience (Saturday 16 July) with a 10-day open door residency during the lead-up to the festival which is called The Lab (3–12 July).

You might remember that Underbelly Arts last year turned the entirety of Kensington Street (including FraserStudios, 44 No More, the warehouse on the corner, and the Clare Hotel) plus Serial Space and more into a weird and wonderful arts precinct, with roving performances, public art, installations, audio-visual work, even pole dancing and poetry. This year, they’re hitting up Cockatoo Island and we couldn’t be more excited about bundling up in our warmest gear, catching a ferry across to the heritage listed site and getting involved (there are 24 projects and over 150 artists to play with!)

Cockatoo Island

We’ll try and grab ourselves an interview with some of the artists involved in the coming weeks, but for now here’s a peek at some of the Underbelly Arts projects involving ex, current and future QSS-Residents!


One of our very first Performing Arts Residents Rolandi Alejandro, who does breathtaking aerial work, is working with his multi-disciplinary collective Strings Attached and the Spanish artist Younnes Bachir to present Ojo, a large scale physical theatre work which will transform a section of the famous Turbine Hall into a ‘vertical stage of endless possibilities’. The work will be concerned with the theme of natural disasters, exploring their consequences on the modern world.

Younnes Bachir is an ex-collaborator with the cutting edge contemporary theatre company La Fura Dels Baus, which was formed in 1979.

Click here to find out more about this Underbelly Arts project.

100 Years Of Lizards

Patrick Lenton (my dear old brother; let’s disclose nepotism here) and the Sexy Tales Comedy Collective (winner of the ROFL Award for Sexy Tales Of Palaeontology at The Sydney Fringe), who took part as a writer in last year’s Off The Shelf program here at Queen Street Studio, is developing a new work called 100 Years Of Lizards at this year’s Underbelly Arts. The premise is that millions of years ago a race of lizards defeated the dinosaurs and have been living on Cockatoo Island. Their researchers (lizard scientists are called herpetologists, sexy huh?) decide to open up the Island to the exuberant (and evil) host of a travel television show when their funding becomes threatened. I guess you’ll have to come along to find out what happens next!

Click here to find out more.

Xuan (Spring)

Xuan (Spring)

Ngoc Nguyen, who is in our final Visual Arts Residency for the year, is doing a live performance / installation work in an office space just off the Turbine Hall which is called Xuan which means “Spring” in Vietnamese. Primarily a photographer, her installation will explore the idea of being a part of two cultures at once, examining notions of displacement and belonging by creating a unique part of Vietnamese culture in a place where you least expect it.

Check out some of her gorgeous photography here or click here for more information about the project.

Water Damage

Experimenting with a call and response approach, Kyla Ring and Cara Macleod (both previous Visual Arts Residents here at QSS) will work on a newproject called Water Damage, an installation of drawings, paintings and environmental sculptures responding to the architecture of Cockatoo Island.

Click here to find out more about their project.

Spotlight Bunny

And last but definitely not least, QSS Performing Arts Resident Julie Vulcan (featured here a few weeks ago) is part of a very exciting, intimate theatre based work called Spotlight Bunny, working with Ashley Scott and Friends With Deficits. The work takes place within the confines of a stationary car (it really is intimate!) blending drive-in culture with the experiences of the iPod generation.

Click here to find out more or click here to head to Julie’s website.

There are so many brilliant artists involved in this year’s Underbelly Arts so please make sure to check out the program and come along to The Festival on Saturday 16 July! Early bird tix (just $10 — that’s less than 50 cents per project if you see everything) went on sale yesterday, so click here so you don’t miss out.

Tully Arnot is a Sydney-based artist who was a resident at Queen Street Studio last year, around the same time that his art collective Ecto-Plasm were working on Air City for the Underbelly Arts: Public Lab + Festival.

When you think of Tully’s work, you usually think of his large, inflatable sculptural installations, which often make use of materials like garbage bags or (in the case of his current exhibition) discarded things like socks and rugs. His practice is in fact broader than this and Tully has an Honours degree in Design (Graphic Design and Environmental/Spatial Design) and is currently undertaking his Masters in Fine Arts Research…

This Friday’s Featured Artist post is mostly visual, with images borrowed from Tully’s website, because that is the way to experience his colourful and eclectic work! Plus it’s nice to sit back and reminisce about things that have happened here at FraserStudios run by Queen Street Studio, you know?

We highly recommend getting along to his new solo show Airhead which opened at Tin Sheds (at Sydney University) just last night to experience his new work for yourself. But make sure you watch out for the flying carpet!



Speaking of Visual Artists, next week we’ll be announcing the names of our last Visual Arts Residents to use the beautiful FraserStudios space! They’re pretty awesome so it’s been hard to keep a lid on this news.

Have a great weekend!

Love, the QSS-Blog team.

A headline in the Sydney Morning Herald today reads “Sydney’s arts scene a pale imitation of its vibrant, go-get-it neighbours”. Ouch. You can read the rest of that article here. Maybe we’ll never be Melbourne, or Berlin, or New York. But here in Sydney we have hard working, prolific artists who continue to astound us with their ideas and their vision! We have trouble keeping up with our Residents and Ex Residents, let alone everything going on in our grand city. So let’s prove that headline wrong and show how vibrant we are, Sydney!

Just a few ways to make that happen:

UNDERBELLY ARTS: PUBLIC LAB + FESTIVAL, 27th June — 16th July 2011.

Underbelly ArtsOur favourite roaming festival with an emphasis on emerging and experimental artists has opened up for applications for the 2011 festival. Last year we were super proud to be part of the venues along Kensington Street to house this great arts lab and event, but this year we are super excited to see that Cockatoo Island is the proposed venue listed on the application form!

Underbelly Arts is not limited to any one type of artist, but particularly likes to support artists in their first five years of practice or established artists looking to push themselves in a new direction. And since art making can get kinda lonely, collectives of artists, collaborations between emerging and established artists, and collaborations across disciplines are particularly attractive! Applications close Monday 4th April. Head to the website for more information and to download the application form.

CRACK THEATRE FESTIVAL, THIS IS NOT ART, 29 September — 3 October 2011

Calling all performance makers! Applications for the Crack Theatre Festival 2011 are now open.
Part of This is Not Art, it’s a national festival of independent, emerging and experimental arts practice.  Crack is seeking applications from alternative theatre-makers and performing artists, for more information join the mailing list and download the guidelines right here .

Applications close at the end of March, so get cracking. (QSS doesn’t take any credit for that pun, which is thanks to the Festival Director Jane Grimley, a regular at Queen Street Studio and part of our Off The Shelf program in 2010).

Are you currently looking for artists for upcoming projects or festivals? Send the details through to julia@queenstreetstudio.com and we’ll put the opportunity in our QSS-News if relevant and advertise on our blog, facebook and twitter.

Hosanna Heinrich is a Sydney-based performance artist, dancer and dance teacher who was the Australian Tango Champion in 2007 and a member of the collective Bill + George.

Hosi’s performance work brings together her specialist training in Argentine Tango with physical theatre, aerial work and character development. A current Performing Arts resident here at Queen Street Studio, she is collaborating with Chris Wilson and Kenny Feathers to continue the development of “Apache Studies”, a work borne out of the Underbelly Arts Festival in 2010.

Inspired by the Danse Apache, a brutal street dance from the early 1900s which blends waltz and tango with physical violence like hair pulling, strangling and slapping (click here to see Youtube examples), “Apache Studies” was presented at the Underbelly Arts Festival as a series of beautifully filmed, black and white vignettes screened continuously throughout the day and night. Filmed against the grey concrete backdrop of Studio 14 in FraserStudios, the results were mesmerising; a study in the interaction between male and female dancers and the fine line that exists between embrace and conflict. During this year’s residence at Queen Street Studio, the work will continue to be developed.

Hosanna Heinrich is also the co-founder of duo The Embrace, who have performed at the Sydney Opera House in two Global Beats productions, and has performed in venues all around Sydney. As a choreographer, she has worked in television on the program Dancing With The Stars.

All images are courtesy of the artists and the Underbelly Arts: Public Lab + Festival. They feature Hosanna Heinrich and Kenny Feather.

Every year FBi Radio, one of our favourite community radio stations in Sydney, holds the SMAC Awards to celebrate the best event in Sydney’s Music, Arts & Culture scene through the year.

We’re super chuffed to have played a part in some of the fantastic artists and projects that have been nominated.

Ex-Visual Arts Resident Tara Marynowsky and current Visual Arts Resident Joan Ross are both up for the Best Artist Award; Underbelly Arts, which took place in FraserStudios and surrounding venues, is up for its second SMAC Award for Best Arts Event, and Historic Houses Trust’s Sydney Open (we opened up FraserStudios, which back in the day was the storage area for the Carlton United Brewery site) is nominated for the Remix The City Award.

Let’s give ourselves (and everyone involved) a big pat on the back shall we?

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