misleading benevolence misleading services and
misleading benefaction - the one trick dog and his
failed art-and-culture-hub which never was
Cripps’ business endeavours are aimed solely at
elevating his social standing but are misrepresented
as endeavours fostering art. Robert Cripps’ social
standing is predicated on whom it is he surrounds
himself with. Cripps has striven to elevate his
a/ emulating cultural organisations (only at a
b/ by making declarations about his businesses and
arts bona fides that are unsupported by anything other
than his own say-so; and
c/ by suing those* (*us) who expose his claims as
being a simple marketing concoction. Cripps is using
defamation law to claim that the way he has marketed
himself is his “reputation”, and that this marketing
has been effectively undermined and therefore ruined.
Defamation law should not be about keeping intact
one’s marketing profile!
Cripps emulated RMIT
Cripps called for volunteers; had an
artist-in-residence program; awarded fellowships; had
artists give “floor-talks”; published
catalogues (well he did not publish
catalogues, and in our case he is behaving as though
it is an unusual or “rarified” practice)...
These multiple "offerings" made by Cripps, which are
of the type one would find offered by institutions
such as RMIT, created the false and misleading
impression that Cripps was in some way like those
institutions he emulated, or in some way associated
with these institutions, and because of this he
created a false impression that he fosters/fostered
Cripps calls for volunteers
Cripps unlawfully called for volunteers for his
call for volunteers to the RMIT gallery. RMIT
volunteers undertook tasks such as "gallery sitting
[and] reception" (dot-point 3, fig. 2), a service we
had paid for during our exhibition at GLG, but which
Cripps has later claimed was not part of our contract
and that the duties associated with sitters were
instead tasks that were to be performed by ourselves
(Tao Jiang "Points of Defence").
“offered” catalogues - as catalogues are a de rigueur
accompaniment of professional exhibitions - to be made
available to those who volunteered at his gallery at a
discount (fig. 1), which is a paradoxical offer
because Cripps did not publish catalogues for
exhibitions or exhibitors for them to be made
available at a discount. RMIT, the institution he
emulated, does publish catalogues (fig. 4).
Cripps provides Floor Talks
Cripps included "floor-talks" as part of his
exhibition process (which in the example below, fig.
3, he calls “artist talks”, blue highlights). This is
not a usual feature for a for-hire-gallery, but it is
a feature of some public and institutionalised
galleries such as the RMIT gallery. Having "floor
talks" aided in creating the appearance of being in
some way an "educational" "organisation".
3 (NOTE, Cripps has now pulled this page)
provides floor-talks. RMIT is an educational
institution that provides these talks as part of its
educational processes. As part of its educational role
RMIT publishes catalogues and holds floor talks to
accompany exhibitions. (Cripps did not publish
catalogues though he claimed to have catalogues
available for a discount price for his “volunteers”).
Cripps (GLG) was not and is not an educational
Cripps had a "fellowship" for GLG. The Australia
Council actually awards fellowships as the means of
fostering the arts. Indeed, when looking at the
Australia Council page on Fellowships, one notices
that Cripps' GLG website bears a striking resemblance
to it. The menu-bar is red; "home" and "about" are
placed in the same order; "news" is referred to as
"what's on"; until we get to "grants" (fellowships)
and "GLG FELLOWSHIPS".
fig. 5 (NOTE: Cripps pulled the GLG website on or
before 20 November 2013, the above screenshot is prior
to this date)
means something. The arts industry awards
fellowships for the purpose of fostering art. By
claiming to have a fellowship, Cripps was creating
the impression that he fostered artistic endeavour.
Below is the Mac dictionary definition:
|?felo¯? sh ip|
1 friendly association, esp.
with people who share one's
interests : they valued fun and good
fellowship as the cement of the community.
• a group of people meeting
to pursue a shared interest or aim.
• a guild or corporation.
2 an endowment established or a
sum of money awarded to support a scholar or
student engaged in advanced research in
a particular field : a four-year
the Australia Council fosters the development of art
promoted himself as a magnanimous benefactor of art
and the purpose of including a section on
"fellowships" obviously lent such a claim weight. By
claiming to offer "fellowships”, or that there were
GLG “fellows”, Cripps was appearing to offer, or
representing himself as having in the past offered,
support to artists of the following kind:
Council on Fellowships
are a major new initiative to support the
professional development of outstanding artists
working across the sector and across Australia.
...fellowships will be awarded to:
• Support and further the creative
professional development of outstanding
• Support artists to explore new creative
• Support artists to develop innovative
practices when creating new work...
offers “Artist-in-residence” program
Cripps offered an “Artist-in-residence” program
(referred to in fig. 1 & fig. 7A).
RMIT offers an “Artist-in-residence” program too.
is a “residency”?
- a residential post held by a writer, musician,
or artist, typically for teaching purposes.”
promoted his “residencies” on his GLG site as being
part of his “Open Studio” (fig. 7A).
fig. 7A (NOTE, Cripps has now pulled this page)
“residencies” are listed by NAVA (fig. 7B) for VISUAL
example of what a residency is, can be gleaned from
one hospital in Melbourne that offers an
artist-in-residence program (fig. 7C). The residency
provides the artist with a rent-free space, in which
the artist donates some of the work created in that
space toward a public or community project which is
supported by donors who can claim their donations to
the residency program as “deductible gifts”. This was
not what Cripps/GLG had on offer.
“residency” was a space that the artist paid Cripps to
hire! It was not a residency at all.
The inaugural opening of GLG included Stelarc who made
a speech. Cripps was applauded on introducing Stelarc.
Stelarc has been awarded a 3 year fellowship by the
Australia Council, has been an artist-in-residence,
and has been a fellow of a university. The meaning of
the terms "fellowship", "artist-in-residence", are
well known to all artists. What Cripps offered, or
proclaimed himself to offer at GLG, was NOT a
fellowship or residency.
Cripps makes donations
Cripps' promotion of his "magnanimity" in fostering
the arts extended to him making claims that he
"donated" space for artists’ use and at his own
generous expense, loss (the claim is made by
Yolande Pickett on Cripps' behalf)(fig. 9).
made no donation, this is pure marketing spin, which
Cripps claims is his "reputation" which has been
exposed as being without basis.
Visual artists paid to hire the spaces to exhibit
works at GLG and, Cripps, without advising the visual
artists (us in our case), re-purposed the use of the
space that had been hired for our use for it to be
used by another party.
The gallery was to open during specific times and this
was paid for by the visual artist (fig. 9A). However,
Cripps would close the gallery on Wednesday evenings
(and Friday evenings) during those times (fig. 9A),
and "donate" the space to other groups in what he
called the Wednesday Project" (*Note Cripps’ Friday
Jazz started after we finished exhibiting at GLG). A
visitor would have to pay to enter at times for which
entry had already been paid for by the visual artist.
Form of payment to gain entry was often "by donation"
(figs. 10 & 11). This was never mentioned in the
agreement Cripps had with us. Cripps did modify his
“agreement” to include a mention of the “Wednesday
Project” (but not his Friday Jazz), but this was some
time after our exhibition (fig. 3), yet he still
omitted mentioning to the VISUAL ARTISTS in this newer
agreement that the gallery would, during those times
that they had paid, be closed and that use of that
space would be given to another party, and that
payment would be necessary to gain entry to what
should have been free.
fig. 9A, GLG’s own line-listing made in the Art
“donated” the space paid for by visual artists, to
entertainers for free, but without telling the visual
During the time of our exhibition at GLG, Cripps held
two events, toward which we made, without our
knowledge or consent, a "donation". These two events
were "Joy" featuring Fiona Bryant (fig. 10) and
"AfterWhite" (fig. 11). The "Joy" performance was held
on the same day that we went in to photograph the
disclaimers Cripps had posted though out the space, 24
June 2009. Cripps made certain that we were not in the
gallery during the time that he closed it off by
threatening to call the police by claiming that the
contract for our exhibition was rescinded and he was
calling the police to evict us for trespass.
for the benefit of Visual Artists?
Cripps has claimed that his re-appropriation of the
space paid for by one party but which he “donated” to
another was to the benefit of the visual artist, that
gave the art a greater exposure to a wider audience
(fig.3, green highlights). This is not so. The
performers on these occasions stood between the art
and the audience obstructing the art of the Visual
Artists who had paid to make the space available to
the people who would be an impediment to anyone
wishing to view the art (fig. 11A).
fig. 11A, Entertainers are an impediment to viewing
the art in the space paid for by Visual artists.
beneficence: buying the tools for the “artists”
(entertainers) to use for the benefit of all mankind
Cripps' magnanimity extends to him buying a piano...
actually, Cripps went out and bought himself a 3rd
piano (he might actually own more).
Cripps’ altruism in the fostering of "the arts" is
Cripps sued us and claimed that what we wrote, such as
writing about his posting disclaimers (which is
evidenced by photographs) was "defamatory". This is
because this would be contrary to his claim of
fostering of art. Cripps is suing us for "defamation"
for writing that he had randomly asked one visitor of
our show if that was her "lovely bottom" in a painting
(which he has admitted to, http://leeanneart.blogspot.com.au/2013/11/is-that-your-lovely-bottom.html)
by claiming that what we wrote were “injurious
demanded a damages payment for an amount of
±$140,000.00 (fig. 12). However, even this action can
be given a positive marketing spin. The money demanded
from us could be used to buy another piano (figs. 13
& 14) for the benefit of all mankind.
bought a concert piano that costs around ±$180,000.00
on 5 October 2011.
boasted of the same piano on 14 August 2012.
D pianos are top-of-the-range Concert Hall pianos that
cost ±$180,000.00. Below is a cheaper “B” piano being
sold below its $180,000.00 price.)
“will not” play the piano himself. The purchasing of a
piano is therefore a MANIFESTATION of Cripps’
altruism, his benevolent munificence, as it is
purchased for the benefit of all mankind.
Musicians benefit tremendously from such magnanimity,
getting to play a piano that many would otherwise
never get to play.
Cripps has two other pianos. Below (fig. 16), Bob
Sedergreen (right) and Steve Sedergreen (left) are
each playing a piano at Cripps’ failed GLG on 2
other 2 pianos are Collard Pianos. Cripps advises that
these pianos are “collectable” Collards
Dana Czarski was instrumental in Cripps acquiring his
pianos (fig. 17)
pianos cost between $25,000.00- $35,000.00.
beneficence to help poor artists
Cripps knows that artists do not earn enough money to
support themselves financially by doing their art, and
acknowledges this (fig. 19).
beneficence is such that he is insisting that we have
to go to court to prove that artists who are not
well-off financially, who forfeit wages so that they
have the time to produce art, who had spent nearly
half of what one might earn in a year to hold an
exhibition at his GLG, can be coerced into an
agreement due to financial duress.
Cripps sold his Guildford Lane building for over 3.4
million $. He paid $187,000.00 in stamp duty.
(Document Source: Titles Office, fig. 20)
defamation action undertaken against us has been
undertaken by Cripps in the manner of imposing upon us
so great a financial stress that we might be induced
into a settlement procured by financial duress. This
is "unconscionable conduct" http://www.redlegvartists.com/fraud-addendum.html
Some did benefit from Cripps, and some of these
persons still stand to gain from his ongoing success
at venues such as RMR, because it means one additional
venue to perform at and make money.
Those who benefited were the entertainers. These
entertainers were morose at the closure of GLG (fig.
21). At the last ever performance at GLG, his
beneficiaries such as Steve Sedergreen played the
piano while onlookers, such as Alison Rae Jones and
Ade Ishs, (also beneficiaries) look on.
sombre-looking Alison (Rae) Jones (fig. 21, left) for
instance, was involved with Cripps' GLG inaugural
Opera in the Laneway (fig. 22).
Rae Jones then performed at RMR, (fig. 23)
Sedergreen, who performed at the "final ever"
performance at GLG (fig. 16) also performed at RMR
(Sedergreen appears alongside the RMR “Social Media
MANAGER”, Annaleise Ronzan), fig. 24.
Ishs who was also a regular entertainer at GLG, also
performed at RMR, fig. 25.
of Cripps’ beneficiaries express a fierce (or blind)
loyalty to him. Cripps replaced his solicitor Tao
Jiang (fig. 26), and after doing so wrote on his
website “No more Chinese karaoke”.
26, Cripps' former legal advisor, Tao Jiang,
loyal Alison (Rae) Jones gave Cripps’ “No more Chinese
karaoke” comment a “like” on Facebook (figs. 27
&28). How bizarre.
staff, his "team", the “gang” are rewarded. Cripps
arranged for a working trip to Mona. The event
“Synaesthesia” cost $600.00 per ticket (fig. 29).
- musical “Residencies” and Cripps’ vapour-claims
Cripps offered a bizarre version of an “artist
residency” to visual artists at GLG which does not
correspond to the definition of “artist residency”
(figs. 7, 7A, 7B, & 7C). However, he seems to have
offered - on face-value - a near-legitimate version to
entertainers. Cripps had “musical residents” at GLG
such as Ade Ishs (fig. 30) and has a “musical
resident” now (at the time of writing) at RMR (fig.
31). However, what on face-value might show that
Cripps did and still does provide a legitimate
“residency” at his venues, turns out to be another of
Cripps’ vapour-claims. The residency concept is
supposed to be an act undertaken by both artist and
venue intended for a community or public purpose or
benefit and not for the financial gain of the venue
owner or the resident artist (figs. 7, 7A, 7B, &
7C). Cripps’ residents are actually the means for
Cripps to make money.
Regarding VISUAL ARTISTS as "residents"; audiences do
not pay to see art at art galleries where
the art is for-sale, so VISUAL ARTISTS had to
However, audiences do pay to see entertainers. Cripps’
offer of a “residency” to entertainers, though
apparently seemingly legitimate, also fails to conform
with the definition of “residency”. His musical
“residents” are musicians that a paying audience will
pay Cripps, in the form of an entry fee, to see
fig. 30, Ade Ishs, on his own blog writes about “doing
a residency” at GLG.
31, "a unique resident artist" at RMR.
Cripps, above, ran a failed-gallery
Author: Demetrios Vakras 30 November2013
are petitioning the Australian government to amend the
Defamation Act of 2005 to make Australian law
consistent with its international obligations.
Support our petition here:http://www.change.org/en-AU/petitions/the-hon-mark-dreyfus-qc-mp-amend-the-australian-defamation-act-2005