Multimedia Artist Cindi Drennan


Cindi: I think that being able to surprise people and delight people with seeing a place they take for granted to be totally transformed in a way that they didn’t expect or conceive as being possible that’s really ground breaking. It’s extraordinary the way new technology is evolving and the world of art is also enjoying some exciting new dimensions thanks to that same technology.

Leigh: Cindi Drennan is a “Multimedia artist” who transforms buildings and streetscapes into fascinating visual artworks which are captivating audiences of all ages. Now I’ve had a look already at some of your work, I’m thinking of the Ribbon at Murray Bridge, it really is extraordinary what you manage to achieve!

Cindi: The Ribbon was a projection onto the brand new Murray Bridge Town hall kind of refurbishment into a theatre, as part of that years regional centre of culture program. I think the important thing about the Ribbon was it was the whole storyline was based on stories and contributions from local people. So the very first part where the big fish swims through the windows of the town hall, and then the ancestor chases him across the building and throws the spear and it becomes an island, that is Murray Bridges local Nnanengerri story and I just thought wow, we’re really lucky we had a local artist, an Aboriginal artist, Nellie Rankine that did the illustrations for us and we turned that into an animation. To me it’s one of the most powerful examples of how you can find local people who are really talented and involve them in this process and get to see their work come to life as a part of this process.

Leigh: What actually attracted you to doing this? At what point did you think ‘I know, we’ll do this, this and this?’ What brought you to this?

Cindi: I think for me the real crux moment was working with a projector, and moving image in an outdoor environment. And I realised ‘wow’ this projectors enabling me to paint with light because prior to that I’d been an illustrator you know drawing with pens and paintbrushes and I’d also been a film maker and I thought with this “wow” I can paint with light, I can incorporate my illustration skills, my film skills.

Leigh: And that fabulous movement.

Cindi: Yes, animation, telling stories, all of this comes together in this one art form, by projecting onto the existing environment and mapping that environment with colour, movement and illusion, wow, it was just so exciting and that excitement and passion has stayed with me since that moment. I think that’s what drives me.

Leigh: For next month’s, Port Festival Cindi was commissioned to use the historic buildings of Lipson St as her canvas as she brings to life true tales of the Port.

Cindi: Lipson Street is magic because there’s so much potential here. I’ve had so many stories told to me about what has happened in this street, the different stages of it being built, you know at one stage it was a whole floor what we are now, it’s all been filled in with shipping ballast and there were king tides that use to come up and down this street, so this and a number of other stories-

Leigh: -and there must have been some characters!

Cindy: Oh absolutely! So we have been working with characters, and my favourite one is Furry Purry the cat. It will run on the Saturday night and the Sunday night from just as it gets dusk, until about 10.30 at night, during that time it will be cyclical, so people will come, look at what’s happening on the buildings and be able to walk up and down the street, look into the windows inside and see other things happening, and they will be sort of going on a journey back in time as they walk up and down the street. No matter where they stop, they will see things happen and start to see patterns that they recognise and characters that they recognise. For example if they discover Furry Purry the cat, they might actually wander around the area and see the adventures Furry Purry has on the different buildings and how that cat changes the buildings. It’s pretty much a journey you take yourself on, through that period of time.

Leigh: What sort of reaction are you expecting from people? What are you hoping for from people?

Cindi: I think there’s several kinds of reactions that I would like. First one is ‘Oh wow!’ -it’s incredible what you can do when you can change a building not just with colour and decoration but with a story that you can understand.

Leigh: From what I’ve seen, this really is going to be amazing; I will have to bring the kids down, so thank you.

Cindi: Thanks Leigh.

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