Probably one of the most fun, interactive and accessible events on Sydney's cultural calendar, Underbelly Arts Festival will be kicking into gear on the first weekend of August (but they're letting you into The Lab from July 22). Dedicated to providing a platform for early career artists, this biennial showcase is all about amplifying the bold new voices of Australian art.
Featuring over 100 artists, the festival will be a colourful patchwork of thought-provoking installations spread across Sydney’s industrial playground, Cockatoo Island. From investigating artist studios to visiting a bar that serves air, to stuffing your face with Mary's and throwing shapes at an art party after a long day's exhibition exploring, there's plenty of indulgent adventures to be had this year at Underbelly. In addition to art, music and performance, there will be plenty of delicious noms from your favourite food providers — think inner-west all-stars such as Mary's, Rising Sun and Young Henry's — curated by Sydney foodie, FBi Radio presenter and The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry founder Lee Tran Lam. You can also look forward to a kickass art party smack bang in the middle of the weekend.
Prior to the festival on August 1 – 2, the exhibiting artists will finish creating their works in an intensive two-week-long residency or The Lab. For instance, Emily Parsons-Lord is developing a bar that serves air. Yes, you heard correct. You will literally be served samples of air. Her work, The Arrariam, is concerned with the history of air and the impact of human development.
Alongside the visual art offerings, there is a stellar music and sound program planned. From sonic sculptures through to serene acoustics, there will be a whole bunch of technologically innovative sound installations to experience.
Underbelly Arts Festival runs August 1-2 at Cockatoo Island, with The Lab running July 22-26. Check the website for more details or to lock down tickets.
Images: Underbelly Arts, Prudence Upton.