Robert Crispe is a Townsville film maker, photographer, artist, and all-round creator, whose latest piece Lantis will be found under the palm trees on the beach beside the Rock Pool during this month’s Strand Ephemera.
Will this be your first time exhibiting in the Ephemera?
This will be my first time as a solo artist yes. I previously exhibited with Flotilla in 2013 with Michelle Hall and Jo Lankester. My element was the projection overlay.
The mirror cube structures that form part of Lantis are quite incredible by themselves – how will the projection element add to them?
The element of projecting animated light has been the main motivation in developing this work. I’ve for a very long time been inspired to develop something sculptural with specific intent to project animated light over its surface. I’ve always been inspired by these types of work, and am now lucky enough to have a platform and a decent excuse to experiment with these elements. The mirrors at this angle have this real nice dynamic reflection about them during the day: from the change in light over time as well as where you stand and how you choose to interact with it. At night, the intention with the animated light is to make the structure breathe – I would like the experience of interacting with it during the day to have a complete contrast at night, I guess though the common denominator will be a sense of peace, or calm…. Not to forget the soundtrack, that of the ocean, people chatting and what not, the cars – these sounds change as well from day to night.
Has Atlantis been a concept that’s intrigued you for a while?
Not so much Atlantis itself – but I am forever fascinated in the unknown, the universe – its stars, the planets and galaxies. For a long time Dystopic and Utopic ideas have always fascinated me and I guess thats where Atlantis comes into play – I’ve never studied the subject, and to be honest my knowledge doesn’t really stem any further than a few sentences on Wikipedia. I guess I was first introduced to Atlantis through pop culture references, cartoons, tv, movies etc – In my memory Atlantis has always been associated with Utopia, and I guess I now associate Atlantis with sci-fi elements, like aliens and advanced technology.
Space (the unknown – the ridiculous scale of our existence), the ocean (seaside, reef etc) – these are dominant themes within my work for the moving image. Like you said I’m known for video work over the last few years. – from A Toxic Galaxsea (2012 Digital Projection), My music video Die Slow, And I have in development a number of fictional narratives I’m writing, directing and filming which all in some shape deal with acknowledging the existence of alien life by the coast.
Where did the idea for the actual design come from?
I really enjoy looking at patterns, and one pattern I like in particular is the 2D cube – that’s where the idea came from. I thought it would make a really nice pattern if it was mirrored and in 3D. So it started that way: I went to Bunnings and bought a bunch of tiny squared mirrors and hot glued them into form – put them in a fish tank and made some experimental motion using animated projected light, and ink.
Have you worked with sculptures much before?
I haven’t worked on something with this much creative independence or with this much scale. But I do love to make things, and my motivation for making this is to film and photograph.
What’s next for you?
I’ll be developing a short film drama series that I will be filming and directing here in Townsville; crafting a stop-motion short film that I’m crafting – as well as a bunch of amazing additional film projects; I’ll be creating a photographic series as well as a film using Lantis – in abandoned buildings and isolated landscapes; and have also started stalks of collaborations with other creatives both local and interstate.
Explore sculptures by local, national and international artists at the 2017 Strand Ephemera, to be held along the Strand from 28 July – 6 August.