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Shopfront announces ArtsLab 'Here We Go Again'

Experience the fullness of our city's stories at Shopfront’s ArtsLab Here We Are Again, a Festival of New Work by Emerging Artists from Western Sydney.

Shopfront Arts Co-Op's ArtsLab: Here We Are Again, is a festival of three new creative works from four emerging artists all who live and work in Western Sydney. This ArtsLab season invites audiences to immerse themselves in untold stories, and relive important moments. With two new performance works and a gallery installation that combines photography and documentary film practices, ArtsLab: Here We Are Again is a celebration of culture, community and creativity. Premiering at 107 Redfern from November 23 – 27, these works explore intergenerational migrant stories, intersections between South Asian and Queer identities, and the momentous awkwardness of a first kiss.

Shopfront Arts Co-op’s 2022 ArtsLab: Here We Are Again!. Photo by Joshua Morris. ArtsLab artists (L to R): Sarah Carroll, Sivani Yaddanapudi, Varuna Naicker, Saarah Hanif

In the 15th year of the program, Shopfront have expanded ArtsLab to welcome two new cohorts per year. One cohort of artists pooled from anywhere, and the second cohort made up entirely of artists from Western Sydney. ArtsLab is a brilliant opportunity for Young Artists to take risks, examine their artistic practice, test ideas and develop new works in a supportive environment that encourages courageous expression. ArtsLab residents are also paired with an industry mentor to help foster their ideas, with this group being guided by Yve Blake, Paschal Daantos Berry and Bina Bhattacharya alongside Shopfront’s own Creative Director Natalie Rose.

ArtsLab reflects Shopfront’s commitment to championing the voices of Young People in the Arts, something Natalie Rose feels strongly about:

As an artist who grew up in Western Sydney, I am particularly passionate about this season of ArtsLab and this cohort of artists. ArtsLab is a space for emerging artists to develop their artistic practice in a safe and supportive environment, this is a space for them to succeed and at times, fail. The ArtsLab cohort receives unprecendented access to the arts ensuring they have the skills to create a sustainable arts practice into the future. Shopfront is committed to sharing new, unique and relevant stories on our stages, stories that truly represent Australia’s cultural landscape.

The 2022 ArtsLab artists in residence include Sarah Carroll, Saarah Hanif, Varuna Naicker and Sivani Yaddanapudi. Their works will be showcased daily at 107 for the duration of the festival. In addition to supporting these artists in the creation of new work, Shopfront also invites emerging artists from across Sydney – especially those who hail from Western Sydney, to attend the Industry Afternoon on Saturday November 27. Young Artists can enjoy the festival works, hear from artist panels and join in on industry speed dating – meeting the best of Sydney and Western Sydney’s arts scene as part of the ArtsLab: Here We Are Again season.

ArtsLab: Here We Are Again presents:

UNKISSED by Sarah Carroll Mentored by Yve Blake Your first kiss is weird. Awkward eye contact, the lean-in, do you close your eyes? Tongue? It’s not like the movies. Sam wouldn’t know. She has never been kissed and is not even sure she ever wants to be. Unkissed is part theatre, comedy and cabaret that explores everything about first kisses and not having your first kiss in a world that shames you for being Unkissed. Come and share your deepest darkest secrets.

WHISPERS AND TEA by Sivani Yaddanapudi and Saarah Hanif Mentored by Paschal Daantos Berry Navigating the world with two contrasting identities that cultivate differing emotions can be quite lonely if not shared with others. The lack of narratives surrounding South Asian Queers has time and time again left many of us feeling alone and isolated. Whispers and Tea captures the essence of those balancing these two worlds of South Asian culture and the LGBTQ+ community. It highlights their words and thoughts on their identities. The work collaborates two art forms in order to depict the stories behind these individuals and provide a sense of shared space for those who seek it.

DALO CHIPS AND IMLI CHUTNEY by Varuna Naicker Mentored by Bina Bhattacharya “What do you want from me!”…a question Kavita, Piyal and Amma, three generations of a Fijian-Indian family living in Australia, ask themselves daily. Kavita didn’t think her husband would ask for a divorce at 50. Piyal couldn’t have known the love of her life would be married to someone else when they fell in love. And Amma never even entertained the idea that her daughter and granddaughter would bring shame on the family. And yet... here we are. This one hour play scrapes off the gilding on the classic immigrant story and examines the cost of living up to the model minority myth.

PROGRAM & TIMES 23 – 27 November Wed – Fri from 6:30pm Sat – Sun from 3:30pm Gallery Open daily from 10am Industry Afternoon, Sat 26 Nov – 3:30pm onwards Industry Networking Event, Sat 26 Nov – 7pm Season Pass grants exclusive access to the afternoon, including artists panels, industry speed dating and networking drinks.

ACCESSIBLE PERFORMANCES All performances and gallery are wheelchair accessible. AUSLAN Interpretation available: Dalo Chips and Imli Chutney 3:30pm Saturday 26th Unkissed 5pm Saturday 26th

VENUE 107 Redfern 107 Redfern St, Redfern

PRICE Season Passes $45 - $45 / Individual Tickets $25 - $15 More information and to purchase tickets:

Media Enquiries: Lily Hayman or Valentina Corona on 02 9588 3948 or email or


Shopfront Arts Co-op is the home of youth arts. We stand as Sydney’s only cross-art form organisation led by and dedicated to the artistry of Young People. For over four decades, Shopfront has amplified the voices of Young People. Supported by practising, professional artists, our members make bold and ambitious works of creative expression. We champion acts of artistic bravery. We are acknowledged for this bravery through awards, recognition and support of arts bodies, and by the thousands of people who have at one time or another in the last four decades considered Shopfront to be their second home. Being a member of Shopfront means you are part of something. Our co-operative is an inclusive community of artists sharing a common goal of making great art (and having a lot of fun along the way).


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