FBi Guide: Underbelly Arts Festival 2015

June 29th 2015


Underbelly Arts is less like the austere Sydney Biennale, and more like the soft belly of your neighbour’s kitten.

Underbelly Arts Festival is a celebration of Sydney’s early career artists. These artists are just finding their legs (like a kitten). Through an extensive program of visual arts, dance, performance, sound art and live art, this will be an exhibition with claws (also, like a kitten).

Taking over the enchanting Cockatoo Island for the first week of August, Underbelly Arts promises everything from robots to plants to plants controlled by robots. Under the heading ‘Future Tense’ you can expect bold new experimental works that push the boundaries of materials, sounds and your feelings.

These days it is increasingly difficult to fit artists into a box or frame, preferring the cross-disciplinary approach that is immersive, participatory and responsive. Like Tully Arnot’s Digital Forest that will be human and artificial, awkward and familiar. On the flip side The Tutti Frutti Dream Factory will have you bedazzled.

Underbelly Arts prides itself on a solid performing arts base. The very fierce Bhenji Ra will team up with a troupe of dancers to perform a smashing combo of Country & Western line-dance and traditional Filipino dance. And the duo from Bad Mudda will be reinventing the soap opera, full of all the disjointed drama of native languages and gender stereotypes.  

In the tradition of all good arts festivals you can get into the nitty gritty of the event through an extensive list of talks, tours and events. But, Underbelly Arts is no ordinary festival. It is here to nurture kittens artists, and open your world to unseen delights. This is why they created The Lab, an artist residency program (22 – 26 July), where you can experience the thrill of contemporary art in action. 

At the heart of Underbelly Arts are the voices of the contemporary artists. What do they think about in the shower? Or worry about before they go to bed at night? Now its 2015, so what do we do if we have a question? Google it. The festival has got that covered too. Roslyn Helper will be there with the Human Google Project. You are invited to ask her anything you’d like to know… From how to kitten proof your home or where to stream FBi online…

Tickets to Underbelly are on sale now and for FBi supporters tickets are only $15.

Underbelly Arts Festival runs from August 1st – 2nd 2015.
Full line up here.



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