exhibition in 2009
the fiasco of Guildford Lane Gallery of Melbourne
the extended version
Guildford Lane Gallery is run by the toxic Robert Cripps. AVOID THIS GALLERY ASSIDUOUSLY!
Had I been aware of him, or had information on him been available prior
to our agreeing to exhibit at Guildford Lane Gallery I (and my
co-exhibitor, Lee-Anne Raymond) would NEVER have dealt with him. This
page expands on criticism already made about the experience of
exhibiting at his gallery [exhibitions].
ABOVE: Photo of a mobile device showing vakras.com not available after Robert
Raymond Cripps threatened web-site hosting service Ilisys.
Raymond Cripps is a transporter of art-objects. At some stage he
decided to establish a for-hire-gallery space. In late 2008 Cripps
opened the "Guildford Lane Gallery". Lee-Anne Raymond and I
unfortunately - as it turns out - found out about it, and paid him in
advance for the hire of his "gallery". We arranged to hold, in mid
2009, what turned out to be an "exhibition" in name only.
What Cripps did
to us is described on this page and
Cripps wants this information suppressed. Evidence of his actions makes him look bad and as such it
"aggrieves" him. In Australia a suppression of information can be accomplished by
In Australian law, the only criterion needed to establish a "defamation" is that one party is "aggrieved" by the availability of information they would rather was suppressed; as defined in s12 of the Act.
Australia's Defamation Act of 2005 was specifically created to assist
those who seek to achieve suppression of information when the
availability of information they wish suppressed "aggrieves" them due to its availability - though the Act itself disingenuously advocates that it intends to "not unreasonably" prevent the imparting of information, s3.
As a consequence, Cripps is suing myself and Lee-Anne Raymond for defamation, and has even sought to prevent knowledge of his suing us from becoming available because it too "aggrieves" him.
Cripps' lawyers have threatened to sue various web-hosting companies simply because they hosted
our sites on their servers. An example known to us
includes the threat by Cripps (via his lawyers) that he will add them as a party
to his legal suit against us. As a result our sites have been removed either
in part or completely from the internet. Cripps' actions
even resulted in our being disconnected from the internet COMPLETELY, and unlawfully,
are several words with which I can describe Cripps: poisonous, vile,
repellent, malignant, racist, liar, bellicose, bully, stupid.
Cripps also runs Redleg a transporter of art
can you trust Cripps' Redleg?
money was spent by myself and my co-exhibitor Lee-Anne Raymond to make
this show a success. This has turned out to be a waste of money. The
owner, Robert Cripps, had, at the time of writing this, still not paid
us for work that sold during the show [payment was eventually made
around 6 weeks later - after we sought legal advice]. Payment of monies
owed was only secured when we were forced into 'agreeing' to terms
which were never in the original contractual agreement with Cripps, but
which he demanded we agree to. He gained 'agreement' by placing us
under financial duress. That he procured 'agreement' by duress renders
this 'agreement' legally voidable.
the course of the exhibition he, by his actions, circumvented our
capacity to promote our work. Cripps turned the exhibition into an
expensive debacle for us, but he made a profit on it.
a photograph of some of the works exhibited at the June-July exhibition
in 2009. The exhibition was of never-before exhibited works by myself
and Lee-Anne Raymond. A fully illustrated catalogue was published to
accompany the exhibition. (the catalogue can be purchased here). Essays which are featured in the catalogue were pinned alongside our artwork in the exhibition.
Cripps is a self-confessed racist [the new-left Nazis]
He is a manifestation of the new-left who have adopted the sentiments
Hitler expressed in his Mein Kampf, but who believe that, though theirs and Hitler's sentiments are the same, their racism is a 'justifiable' one [new-left Nazis].
Cripps took exception to my explanatory essays.
Some of my essays juxtapose quotes from both the Old and New Testaments alongside Hitler's Mein Kampf, to show that Hitler's racial exterminations were Biblical (religious). [An assessment of Hitler's Christianity]
believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty
Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the
work of the Lord." Mein Kampf p.60, Manheim translation.
Hitler's enmity of Jews is based on 1 Thessalonians 2.13-16 from the New Testament [details].
|above: one of Cripps' many disclaimers (circled)
it was not the exposure of the Biblical basis of Hitler's racism that
Cripps took exception to. His actual objection was to my quoting from
the Koran, particularly 9.38-52, in which the god of Islam, "Allah",
guarantees automatic "martyrdom" to those who are killed while in the
act of killing non-Muslims.
to Cripps, quoting the Koran is insensitive to "Palestine", because he
is opposed to, as he said, "the Jew's state in Palestine." He then
accused me of "racism"! (Neither "Israel" or "Palestine", or the conflict there are mentioned in the exhibition)
For Cripps the actions of "Palestinian" (Arab Muslim)
suicide murderers in killing Jews are justified. My quotes form the
Koran show unambiguously that these acts are crimes committed on behalf
of Islam. These quotes mean:
- that the Jews killed in Israel are victims of Islamic intolerance;
that the Jews have not brought the situation upon themselves by their
actions to which "Palestinians" are reacting. The Koran predates the
existence of the modern state of Israel by over 1300 years;
- that his hatred of Jews is exposed for the outright racism that it is.
Cripps, who does not know the difference between opinion and fact, placed disclaimers everywhere in the exhibition.
The "Disclaimer" reads:
"The management would like to state clearly that the views and opinions
expressed in this exhibition are those of the artists, and not in any
way representative of the views or opinions of the management, staff or
volunteers of Guildford Lane Gallery."
quotes from the Koran though are NOT an opinion. What quoting from the
Koran achieved was the exposure of Cripps for what he is: a racist.
below: detail of Cripps' disclaimer
Unfortunately, some of the photographs are not in focus (limited depth
of field). When Lee-Anne and I visited to photograph our exhibition on
25 June 2009, he followed us, harried us, ranting, ordering us out of
our exhibition, even though we had a legal right to be there, and he
had no legal means of executing his demand. He is a bellicose bully
limited in erudition and of limited intellect.
to Cripps, my essays were unintelligible, lacked artistic essence
(whatever that might mean), and read like legalese. The eyes of his
volunteers ("the girls" as he called them), he said, "would glaze over"
as they tried to comprehend the incomprehensible. In an email received
26 June 2009, Cripps wrote:
ensure that myself, gallery staff and volunteers will also not be
approached by Demetrios without prior notification, as he has made
myself, staff and volunteers feel very uncomfortable"
above email was Cripps' response to our email in which we wrote to
object about his conduct while we had been photographing the exhibition
on 25 June 2009. His intimidatory behaviour included him walking to
within a few inches of me to tell me that I threaten him, and thrusting
his finger to within an inch of me to tell me he was frightened of me,
and to tell me that I breeched our contractual agreement because he
claimed that my art was racist. (A gallery visitor who was present
witnessed these bizarre antics.) Rebuttals by Lee-Anne to Cripps'
bizarre rants were met with the retort "you are a sarcastic woman".
With regard to the above Cripps email, no discussion about the themes
of my art occurred with anyone from the gallery other than with Cripps
himself, for anyone other than Cripps to feel "uncomfortable". Cripps'
conduct throughout was thoroughly disgraceful.
the staff and volunteers at Cripps' Guildford Lane Gallery acquiesce
to, and agree with, his hatred of Jews and are in disagreement with me,
then it would be a disservice to them if they were to remain
unacknowledged and anonymous. [Though
I had named them I removed their names 11/4/2011, for no reason other
than it was Cripps who was the problem, even though the staff and
volunteers, by their silence can not claim to be any different than he
is]. They know who they are.
ADDENDUM 7 November 2009:
number of the above mentioned "volunteers" have commenced an email
campaign to have their names removed from this page using the threat of
legal action. Cripps made numerous misrepresentations of my character,
including the charge of racism. He claimed that his actions were
undertaken on behalf of his volunteers. His volunteers constituted
"evidence". The matters discussed on this page are based on emails,
specifically the email with the subject title "a misrepresentation of
our art" of 25/6/2009. His volunteers, were CCd into these emails. They
were also CCd into the email response by Cripps, of the 26/6/2009, in
which he made a number of new assertions for which he used as support
('evidence'), his volunteers. Cripps' email is written on behalf of the
gallery (which includes the volunteers who he CCd into it). My rebuttal
to Cripps et al with the subject "Addenda to: a misrepresentation of
our art + rebuttal", was sent on 26/6/2009. The list of volunteers with
whom we would be dealing during our exhibition is from an email from
Pickett dated 30/5/2009. To my disgust none of the volunteers had the
ethical integrity to distance themselves from the assertions made in
their name by Cripps. Throughout they remained ethically deficient by
their silence, and continue to be ethically deficient. They were
unconcerned with any of the claims made on their behalf by Cripps
(especially Cripps' email response dated 26/6/2009) as long, as it has
become evident, they remained anonymous. If I had any misgivings about
including any of them on this page I do not do so now.
(Their absurd shared
belief is that permission is required to mention them
by name, and that a mention without such permission constitutes "defamation"!)
As the course of events transpired during the course of the exhibition
at this odious gallery, I often wished that a page such as this had
existed on the internet. I never would have wasted the large amount of
time, money, effort, and frustration by exhibiting in it. This page is
intended to remedy such an absence.
ADDENDA amendments 11 November 2009:
Only one of the volunteers (whose name has been removed) ever distanced
themselves from the representations made on their behalf by Cripps:
"Robert Cripps does not speak for me…Any course of action or
accusations Robert Cripps made against you on my apparent behalf as a
volunteer at the Gallery came without my knowledge or consent."
Of the original list of names that appeared, two were not included in
the email exchanges I refer to. The list of volunteers is incomplete;
and any names omitted are a consequence of my not knowing them. Of the
3-4 volunteers with whom I exchanged any words at all, some exchanges
were limited to merely greeting them with "hi".
then, Cripps' representations on behalf of his volunteers were not made
on behalf of volunteers with whom I did exchange any words (even if
this exchange was limited to greeting them), it must be assumed that
those he claimed I made, "very uncomfortable" are those with whom I
exchanged no words, never saw, and never met. To reiterate, Cripps'
disclaimers were written on the behalf of volunteers for reasons
explained in (but not limited to) his email. And if I could list them
all, I would.
ADDENDUM 2 April 2011 (re-edited 11/4/2011):
There is a bit of a risk in publishing a page such as this. The website
is an electronic publication, a promotional exercise. To write about
any exhibition would, with such an understanding, be about representing
the exhibition in the best possible light. As such I should be writing
of this exhibition being a success, about the number of people who
turned up at the opening, referring to all possible positives. To write
about an exhibition, and describe it in the way that I have here makes
for something that detracts from the intention of the website as a
promotional tool for my artwork. For the purposes of promoting my art I
would have been better to never mention this exhibition ever, at all.
Cripps has become aware of this page - not that it was ever kept
secret. He has undertaken to claim that what I (and my co-exhibitor)
write "defames" him. Today I received a summons to the Supreme Court of
(the Australian state of) Victoria for June of this year (2011). Cripps
wants this page removed claiming that what I write is "false" (!). This
is not going to happen: to remove what is written, on the claim by
Cripps' solicitor that what appears on it is a falsehood makes it a
corollary that I agreed to remove it because I agreed it to be false.
You have to wonder about the logic of his legal team.
provides a service: a gallery for hire. This is our experience of the
service that he provided. It cannot be altered. There is something
wrong with the idea, that you:
- save for the money to afford to hire the space;
- pay for the publication of a catalogue;
- pay for the printed cards for the exhibition;
-pay for half-page advertisements in art publications;
- pay for the hiring of vans for the transport to and then from the gallery;
- pay for the printing, mounting and framing of digital works;
- pay for the framing of drawings;
- pay for the postage of materials to parties invited to the opening;
then be barred from attending your own exhibition, prevented from
managing elements of that show, and be told that what happened can't be
mentioned because the person who made money (in the form of the money
paid for the venue hired) won't like it! Essentially then, it would
mean that I paid for the privilege of being humiliated, ridiculed,
accused of committing fictional crimes and slandered. If that's what
I'd been after, then why did I not just withdraw all of this money and
just throw it into a crowd? have myself placed in stocks, and pay
people to throw things at me?
WHAT ARE THE EXPERIENCES OF OTHERS?
The experience of my co-exhibitor and I with Cripps was not one unique to our exhibition.
Nearly a year after this disastrous exhibition I received the first of
many emails we have both received from others who suffered in their
dealings with Cripps.
It was after the receipt of this email that my co-exhibitor Lee-Anne Raymond, (whose page can be found here ) was emboldened to expand on her own description of this disastrous exhibition.
the writ serves anything at all, it goes to show why others have been
too fearful to describe their own experiences, and why there was no
information, other than the self-serving promotional material, that we
could have accessed that would have permitted us to make an informed
ADDENDUM 7 June 2011
legally sanctioned harassment of us ("SOC") has been resubmitted. We
had feared that it would not be. We were not looking forward to
commencing a claim against Cripps from scratch. We are not so much
interested in our defence, as the elements of our countersuit of itself
accomplishes this. I had hoped to time uploading my new page ( http://www.vakras.com/guildford_lane_gallery-addenda.html
) to occur a few days prior to the prospective resubmission of this
case of harassment against us. I succeeded in timing it right. Our
lawyers received the amended "SOC" on 3 June 2011.
I warn others to avoid exhibiting at Guildford Lane Gallery.
Lulled by the endorsement of this gallery by Australian arts bodies
(see below) we spent over AUD$12,000.00 on our exhibition there, only
to be publicly called racists (defamed), humiliated and barred from
attending our own show. Then, simply because we recounted this sordid
fiasco, we have been compelled to pay an additional AUD$8000.00+ in
legal fees to date. These are not losses we are prepared to wear.
Exhibit at Guildford Lane Gallery at your own peril. Let our lesson be your lesson.
(Finally I corrected my many typos today!)
The bona fides of Guildford Lane Gallery
The gallery is listed by NAVA
like the National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA), of which I
was once a member, and which is itself funded by the Australian Federal
Government, the Australia Council, etc, is intended to support artists
and the arts community. However, NAVA lends this disreputable gallery
credibility. NAVA is doing artists a disservice.
Other bodies that lend Cripps' gallery credibility are Artabase.
The Artabase site hosts Cripps' "volunteer program". These listings are misleading!
Do not be misled.
Avoid Guildford Lane Gallery
20-24 Guildford Lane,
Melbourne, Vic. Australia!
[ To read the review of this exhibition by my co-exhibitor, Lee-Anne Raymond ]
[return to exhibitions page]