SPIRIT PATROL is a new video by Sydney artists Kate Richards and Ross Gibson. Based on dozens of original police scene-of-crime photos from the period 1945-1960 and contemporary texts by award-winning author and historian Gibson, SPIRIT PATROL weaves an evocative tale of intrigue, betrayal and darkness set in Sydney in a period of intense cultural change and personal disruption. SPIRIT PATROL unfolds across the city – from the port, to drab suburban yards, from the seaside and the badlands of the urban fringe, into nocturnal back-rooms. What if you dreamed these pictures? Are they moments frozen in time? Or scorched insights returning from another era? Night sweats of the soul revisiting now from some unquiet surge of the past? The resolute B/W images, rhythmic composition, and haunting cinematic sound touch on the austerity and uncertainty of current times.
SPIRIT PATROL is a new project in “Life After Wartime” – a significant suite of Australian electronic media art created since 1999 by Richards and Gibson, based on Gibson’s original discovery and research into a huge collection of police scene-of-crime images shot in Sydney and housed at the Historic Houses Trust of NSW.
Projects in the “Life After Wartime” suite have been exhibited at the Sydney Opera House, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image Melbourne, The Fringe Festival Adelaide, The Performance Space Sydney, The Justice and Police Museum Sydney, Digital Arts and Culture Melbourne, The Museum of Sydney, Australian Centre for Contemporary Photography Melbourne and at various international festivals.
“Life After Wartime” is supported by a dedicated website www.lifeafterwartime.com and publications including essays, interviews and reviews by John Conomos, Martyn Jolly, Keith Gallasch, Gibson and Richards, Steve Meacham, Maggie Alderston, Hart Cohen, Bec Dean, ABC TV’s Sunday Arts. “Life After Wartime” projects have been variously funded by the Australian Film Commission, the Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Research Council, The Nelson Meers Foundation and the University of Technology Sydney.