Redleg V artists

Robert Raymond Cripps

sues artists for defamation:

Redleg Museum Services (ACN 105 986 829) sues

Demetrios Vakras (artist)
Lee-Anne Raymond (artist)

Supreme Court of Victoria
SCI 01484/2011

Cripps' crack legal team: Christopher Dibb & ? Tao Jiang (replaced)

1. Redleg Museum Services now runs RUBY'S MUSIC ROOM , Registration number:    B2409701A, ASIC;
2. Cripps' Redleg Museum Services Pty Ltd was the respondent to objections raised in VCAT regarding his Ruby's Music Room
3."The team behind one of Melbourne’s much loved galleries and performance spaces, Guildford Lane Gallery are very proud to present Ruby’s Music Room."

Note: Redleg runs Ruby's Music Room, and in the past ran Guildford Lane Gallery. That is a simple fact. But to mention it, and make sure that we are not sued for some reason on grounds we are not aware of and have not anticipated, entails that we have to make "a bigger deal of it" than we otherwise would. It would have been simpler to just mention the fact, but by leaving it at that might be said to have been done by us out of "malice", or that it may have been wrong in fact; hence we need to show where the relationship lies between Redleg and Ruby's Music Room. Indeed, it becomes MANIFESTLY obvious that we could avoid mention of the fact and avoid any legal repercussions; self-censor; which is precisely the the outcome achieved by Australia's 2005 Defamation Act, though the act itself asserts categorically that it is not designed to "unreasonably" impinge on the right to freely impart (and receive) information (though not necessarily expressed by these exact words).

Cripps' misleading benevolence misleading services and misleading benefaction - the one trick dog and his failed art-and-culture-hub which never was


Robert 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 standing by:
a/ emulating cultural organisations (only at a superficial level);
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 the arts.

Cripps calls for volunteers

Cripps unlawfully called for volunteers for his gallery (fig.1).

fig. 1

RMIT 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").

fig. 2

Cripps “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".

fig. 3 (NOTE, Cripps has now pulled this page)

RMIT 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 institution.

fig. 4

Cripps offers “fellowships”

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)

"Fellowships" 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:

fellowship |?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 postdoctoral fellowship.

Below, the Australia Council fosters the development of art through fellowships.


Cripps 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:

Australia Council on Fellowships


...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 established artists;
• Support artists to explore new creative directions
• Support artists to develop innovative practices when creating new work...

Cripps 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.

fig. 7

What is a “residency”?

residency |ˈrez(ə)dənsē; ˈrezəˌdensē|
- a residential post held by a writer, musician, or artist, typically for teaching purposes.”

Cripps 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)

And “residencies” are listed by NAVA (fig. 7B) for VISUAL ARTISTS.

fig. 7B

An 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.

fig. 7C

Cripps’ “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.

fig. 8

Magnanimity: 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).

fig. 9

Cripps 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 Almanac

Cripps “donated” the space paid for by visual artists, to entertainers for free, but without telling the visual artists.

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.

fig. 10

fig. 11

All 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.

Cripps’ 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 apparently boundless.

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, by claiming that what we wrote were “injurious falsehoods”.

Cripps 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.

fig. 12

Cripps bought a concert piano that costs around ±$180,000.00 on 5 October 2011.

fig. 13

Cripps boasted of the same piano on 14 August 2012.

fig. 14

(Steinway 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.)

fig. 15

Cripps “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 November 2011.

fig. 16

Cripps’ 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)

fig. 17

Collard pianos cost between $25,000.00- $35,000.00.
fig. 18

Cripps’ 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).

fig. 19

Cripps’ 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)

fig. 20

The 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" .


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.

fig. 21

The sombre-looking Alison (Rae) Jones (fig. 21, left) for instance, was involved with Cripps' GLG inaugural Opera in the Laneway (fig. 22).

fig. 22

Alison Rae Jones then performed at RMR, (fig. 23)


Steve 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.

fig. 24

Ade Ishs who was also a regular entertainer at GLG, also performed at RMR, fig. 25.

fig. 25

Some 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”.

fig. 26, Cripps' former legal advisor, Tao Jiang, , "商业法和诉讼"

The loyal Alison (Rae) Jones gave Cripps’ “No more Chinese karaoke” comment a “like” on Facebook (figs. 27 &28). How bizarre.

fig. 27

fig. 28

Cripps' 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).

fig. 29

Apendix - 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 pay Cripps.

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 perform.

fig. 30, Ade Ishs, on his own blog writes about “doing a residency” at GLG.

fig. 31, "a unique resident artist" at RMR.

Robert Cripps, above, ran a failed-gallery

 Author: Demetrios Vakras 30 November2013

We are petitioning the Australian government to amend the Defamation Act of 2005 to make Australian law consistent with its international obligations.

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