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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.