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Over 200 of Sydney’s cutting-edge, experimental and emerging artists are taking up residency at CarriageWorks to develop, rehearse and create new works that will be presented at the 2-day ticketed Underbelly Festival on July 12 and 13.

An artist residency with a twist, members of the public are invited to the free Underbelly Arts Lab from July 3 – 10 to watch art in the making, take tours of rehearsal venues, join in the free talks program and interact with artists at work.

Underbelly Festival director, Imogen Semmler, says participating artists will be bringing new projects to the Arts Lab and developing them over ten days to be presented as performance, installation and work in progress at the festival finale.

Each day of the Arts Lab the public is invited inside to watch art unfold, as the artists’ projects come to life.

Semmler guarantees the Arts Lab will be an ‘assault on the senses’ and recommends taking advantage of one of the evening tours, being run hourly, to gain a behind-the-scenes look at art in the making.

Projects this year include live music, video, sound, DJing, theatre, puppetry, dance, performance, visual art, photography and installations.

‘The heartbeat of the festival is the generation of ideas and projects in a collaborative, multi-disciplinary environment. We’ve doubled the number of artists this year,’ says Ms Semmler. This translates into various collaborations of dancers working with musicians, digital and aerial artists combining their talents, as well as a multitude of other artistic permutations.

Highlights of the Arts Lab include thought-provoking conversation and informative sessions, a marketplace and a chance to watch a live album recording.

Running over the Arts Lab weekend from July 4 – 6, the Underbelly Exchange free talks program includes sessions on Creative Commons Licensing; the navigation between art, craft, design and technology; and Producing for the Arts. A team of musicians and visual artists will be collaborating to create a finished album over the weekend.

The CarriageWorks foyer will also transform on July 5 from 4 – 11PM into the Underbelly Twilight Bazaar, a marketplace for emerging Sydney artists and designers to sell their wares.

The following weekend, July 12 -13, the Underbelly Festival will celebrate the work achieved by the artists and showcase the performances, installations and works in progress.

‘Artists will roam amongst audiences, projecting onto walls and performing in tucked away corners. We’ll be filling up every nook and cranny, presenting music extravaganzas, dance, aerials and interactive exhibitions,’ promises Ms Semmler.

A similar program will feature on both Underbelly Festival days, with a special closing event on July 13 in association with FBi 94.5FM. The final hour of the festival will be tuned into FBI’s Sunday Night At the Movies, featuring audio collected throughout the Arts Lab by FBI producers – a remix and rehashing of everything Underbelly.

Underbelly Arts Lab + Festival
245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh
July 3-13
Arts Lab July 3-10, Free
Festival July 12-13, Ticketed ($32 one day pass, $58 weekend pass)