Armidale artist Crisp brightens up the Goldfish Bowl with urban art

URBAN ART: Artist Crisp with Goldfish Bowl manager Bonnie Erskine-Smith at the new mural on the corner of Jesse and Rusden Street.
URBAN ART: Artist Crisp with Goldfish Bowl manager Bonnie Erskine-Smith at the new mural on the corner of Jesse and Rusden Street.

PHYSIOTHERAPIST by day, street artist by night, Crisp has put his stamp on The Goldfish Bowl.

Living in Bogotá, Columbia for the last seven years – Crisp moved home to Armidale where he became a regular customer of the cafe.

“I love painting anywhere in the world, but here you find people stop for longer,” Crisp said.

“I saw the wall and thought it was a great space to paint on.”

The street art scene in Columbia is booming, and uniquely legal.

“You can pretty much hit anything,” Crisp said.

“It’s good in some ways because you get a lot of murals up there, their ideology is that if you get a lot of street art up it actually reduces vandalism and tagging.”

Planning for the mural began more than six months ago, sticking with the Goldfish Bowl theme, the artwork is a sea of stenciled fantailed goldfish.

But, Crisp stresses that what he does is different from graffiti.

Graffiti originates from hip-hop culture and is centred around typography.

“It’s the writing of your name over and over in different styles,” Crisp said.

“But street art has become quite popular and famous.

“It’s images, you can interpret it and see the beauty in it.

“Graffiti in itself is an art form, I respect it and see the beauty in it but it’s not my thing.”

Taking a photo in his protective mask, sunglasses and hat – Crisp requested that he not be identified.

Remaining anonymous as an artist means he can continue to create work without consequence.

Crisp said it was cool to put his stamp on a local favourite.

“I like it, I love Armidale, it’s definitely a different feel because Bogatá is a huge metropolis of 10 million people,” he said.

”A concrete jungle with horrendously bad traffic.”

Goldfish Bowl manager Bonnie Erskine-Smith said she loved that a local artist could brighten up the corner.

“I thought it would be really cool, I knew we could get away with that because of the kind of vibe we have here,” Ms Erskine-Smith said.