Next Wave’s All School Lab returns this May with tarot readings, pickling workshops and an epic party for the ages

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Next Wave’s All School Lab returns this May with tarot readings, pickling workshops and an epic party for the ages

Next Wave
Words by Juliette Salom

Next Wave is celebrating 40 years of art intersecting with community with All School Lab on May 24 and 25, presenting a program of artist-led talks, performances, activities and even a party to top things off.

Over the two jam-packed days of All School Lab, the city of Naarm/Melbourne will come alive with a plethora of events and activities to celebrate and engage with emerging artists of the local scene.

Showcasing contemporary, experimental and daring new artwork, Next Wave is an organisation that connects communities with young and early-career practitioners in order to nurture the next generation of artists who are making waves in the creative landscape of this country.

All School Lab by Next Wave

  • Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25
  • You can check out the full program here

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In celebration of their 40th birthday, the team behind Next Wave have curated a spectacular lineup of activities for All School Lab – a biennial affair for artists and the communities around them to get together and share knowledge, skills and ideas over a two-day program that centre around considerations of past, present and future.

This edition of All School Lab begins with a bang on Friday, May 24 with a keynote lecture by Nat Randall on the critically acclaimed theatre piece The Second Woman. Taking place at narrm ngarrgu Library in the CBD at 11am, Nat will be discussing and reflecting on this phenomenal work and its evolution from being conceived for Next Wave’s program in 2016, to becoming a global success.

Also at the narrm ngarrgu Library will be Luke D King in conversation with artist Ravi Vasavan about access and inclusivity in the art world. The discussion will also include an interactive element that will collaborate with spectators through audience participation to explore these themes through tangible community experience.

All School Lab program


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To wrap up the Friday of All School Lab is the first edition of Taking Stock – an event that has been dubbed as a ‘transcendental tiny restaurant experience’. Also happening on the Saturday, Taking Stock is an experience by interdisciplinary artist Bethany J Fellows. 

Fellows in collaboration with James Paul that is a multi-sensory meditation to get those tastebuds whirring. A rejuvenating sauna experience, paired with an umami broth to sip on in this custom-built installation, Taking Stock will be happening in fifteen-minute sessions at the MPavilion Parkville on Friday 5pm to 10pm and on Saturday 10am to 12.30pm.

Referred to as ‘participatory contemporary art’, the start of the Saturday for All School Lab will get you moving and dancing in order to ‘exorcise through exercise’ for Deep Soulful Sweats at the MPavilion Parkville.

An early-morning ritual of stretches and movement beginning at 8am, this playfully exhilarating event will be soundtracked by OVERWORLD the album and DJ’d by A.r.t. Wilson, and is open to anyone and everyone.

Deep Soulful Sweats


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Tarot Futures, run by Erica McCalman on Saturday 25 at the narrm ngarrgu Library, is a SWOT analysis consultation for emerging artists, curators and art workers in need of a little creative soul-searching within their practices.

Attendees can jump straight from the Tarot Futures event to Next Wave’s Artistic Directorate, also happening at the narrm ngarrgu Library at 11am on the Saturday, and consider both their own personal art practices within the larger context of the country’s artistic landscape.

An interactive community-minded event, the Artistic Directorate will be focusing on the theme of Seeking to Care through conversation and playful prompts. 

Next Wave’s Artistic Directorate


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And as if the program for All School Lab couldn’t get any more exciting, on the Saturday of the series will be a hands-on pickling workshop, run by Next Wave’s NSW Artistic Director Marian Abboud and Kickstart artists ‘An.Other Collective’.

Preserving Practice will be taking place at the narrm ngarrgu Library at 1pm and will include both an exploration into the ancient art of preservation and an opportunity for participants to pickle something themselves that they’ve brought in to preserve.

Last but very much not least, the program ends in one epic culmination of a party by Next Wave at Brunswick Mechanics on Sydney Road. To celebrate both the spectacular two days of events and the forty years of phenomenal work of Next Wave that has preceded it, the organisation’s Young Artistic Directorate has curated a night of DJs, performers, painters and snacks.

The during:next party will be happening on Saturday, May 25 from 6pm and is sure to be an exciting night of celebration and connection to finish off another year of an incredible program by Next Wave. And everyone’s invited! 

Accessibility has been considered across the All School LAB program. More information about accessibility for each event can be found on the All School website.

You can check out the full program to Next Wave’s All School Lab here.

This article was made in partnership with Next Wave’s All School Lab.