'Lets have a day exploring and having fun with our camera's,' was the call out Lamb made to our dear friends Susie and Ross. With plans to go to the Underbelly Arts Festival on Cockatoo Island, the call out was easy to achieve.
First stop of the day was to meet at Greenwich Wharf in time to make the 12.31pm ferry. Well yes we got to Greenwich and yes we met at the wharf, unfortunately Lamb and I made it for 12.40pm and thus a hour wait for the next ferry.
Pumpkin Soup with Falafel and Guacamole
Chocolate covered cherries
Our picnic view
Fortunately our reason for being late was making a picnic lunch for our adventure. Now being that three of our party are UK born I'm sure I should have packed jam sandwiches with lashings of ginger beer, but instead we made do with a flask of hot pumpkin and red pepper soup, falafels and home made guacamole. All followed with divine choclate covered cheeries, found by Susie at the Greenwich IGA - yum.
Cockatoo Island itslef is a extraordinary site. One of the Sydney Harbours largest islands it was once a imperial prison, industrial school, reformatory and gaol. It is also the site of one of Australia's biggest shipyards during the twentieth century, built by convicts the island's maritime industrial activity ceased in 1992. As you can imagine a intriguing back drop to a arts festival.
Back drop for a upcoming night performance
Underbelly Arts is the brain child of not for profit organisation Rinse Out Inc. The aim, to take 150 artists and keep them for 10 day in residency with the result - a one day festival of exhibitions, performance, music and experimentation.
With the sheer size of the island, exploring the festival was endless fun. Some artists were very transparent in expressing what influence the residency the had had on their work, others chose to use the space as back drop to existing view points
Well deserved drinks break - note the mulled wine in cup ... mmmmm
Ghosts of a former life
For me, the most impressive piece was Case Study by Perran Costi, Jesse Cox, Emily McDaniel, Adam Parsons, Damian Martin and Justin Harvey
Reading the festival blurb, this piece is described as ...at the beginning of the lab six artists migrated to Cockatoo island only bringing with them what could be carried in suitcases. They have created work documenting & responding to their process of creating a new society as they attempted to inhabit the island for 16 days. This project explores ideas about how a society is created.
To me, this piece truly reflected the journeys all six artists went through in their process of exploration. Every element was a true representation of the island and it surrounds in all its glory. To achieve what they did was nothing short of over achievement and it makes one quite envious of the opportunity to stay at such a remarkable place and play.