Judith Nangala Crispin photograph Anima Mundi St. Ives exhibition Cornwall

Judith Nagala Crispin, 'Ascending Beings'

Judith Nan­gala Crispin’s Ascend­ing Beings’ is a gen­uine col­lab­o­ra­tion with the land­scape, util­is­ing cam­era-less Lumochrome’ pho­to­graph­ic techniques.

Judith Nangala Crispin is an Australian visual artist, and award winning poet and a descendant of Bpangerang people of North East Victoria. Her skin name, Nangala, was given to her by the Warlpiri people of the remote Tanami Desert in northern Australia, a place she has lived for a few months each year for over a decade. Her work includes themes of displacement and identity loss, a reflection on her ancestry, but it is
primarily centred on the concept of connection with the land. This work forms a part of Crispin’s ongoing series depicting the transcendent ascending forms of recently deceased fauna. Crispin’s camera-less method of photography incorporates a range of processes. Her own developed alternative process of ‘lumachrome glass printing’, combines elements of lumen printing, cliché verre, chemical alchemy and drawing. She works within a mobile geodesic dome which functions as a giant lens where light streams penetrate its plastic walls. The mobility of her studio allows her to go to the site of her subject, prior to respectful burial. The muse, is raised onto a plastic box, rested on special photographic paper for up to 50 hours as the passage of sun and moonlight exposes its posthumous portrait. Each work is viewed as a collaboration with nature, where honouring the subject is a key objective. In each work the animals are diaphanous where light has literally passed through their bodies. They appear drawn in a primitive motion by a slipstream of spirit, levitating in a space of brooding luminosity that appears sentient and wholly focused on the task of enfolding each creature back into its care. The result offers a profound sense of what lies beyond.

Crispin is a proud member of FNAWN (First Nations Australia Writing Network) and Oculi collective. She holds a Ph. D from the ANU and a Doctor of Arts from the University of Sydney and has published three books “Pillars of the Temple’ (Cambridge Scholars Press), ‘The Myrrh-Bearers’ (Puncher & Wattmann), and ‘The Lumen Seed’ (Daylight Books). Her verse novel ‘The Dingo’s Noctuary’ was shortlisted for 2023 Arles Recontres Dummy Book Prize. Her recent prizes include the 2020 Blake Prize for Poetry and the 2023 Sunshine Coast Art Prize. A representation of Judith’s work ‘At season’s end, fireflies fill the ribbon barks, down by Shoalhaven river. Sunny, lost to traffic, waits all night for dawn, for waking fireflies, and weaves a new body from their glow’, will be deposited on the Moon in 2024, as part of NASA’s Lunar Codex.

Please join us to celebrate the opening of two simultaneous exhibitions; 'Ascending Beings' on Floors 1 & 2 of the gallery and Efrat Merin's 'The Other Side of Paradise' on floor 3 on Friday 7th June, 6.30 - 8pm.