Artist Profile: Olaf Meyer

11 July 2012 | 6:45 am | Staff Writer

Five minutes with Olaf Meyer.

It's the middle of winter, it's dark early, colds are spreading and singletons have chilly beds. What better way to brighten up the streets than with the Gertrude Street Projection Festival that starts Friday 20 July. Featured artist Olaf Meyer is a 3D animator and multimedia installation artist. For this year's festival Meyer is collaborating with fellow artist Richard De Souza. The site for the duo's offering is the Gertrude Hotel. “I'm presenting a piece called Time,” shares Meyer. “It features some natural and imagined elements, which are to be mapped on and around the building's architectural features.

“Artistically I'm inspired by people who take a playful approach. Play has the ability to break down stigma and cultural boundaries and come up with something different and enlightening. On an academic level I'm inspired by a collection of German artists,” shares Meyer, who is the only child to two German parents, “thinkers from the 1920s and '30s that tried to formalise a very free and subjective approach to movement, art and expression. People like Rudolf Laban, Rudolf Steiner and Wassily Kandinsky.” Steiner famously said on art that “a real artist may create his picture in a lonely desert... gods look over his shoulder, he creates in their company. What does he care whether or not anybody admires his picture?”

The Gertrude Street Projection Festival is in its fifth year. “It's brought experimental, site-specific large-scale projection work into the urban environment,” Meyer continues. “It creates a buzz in the community. From an artist's perspective it has established a significant annual forum for projection artists and animators to showcase finished and work in progress.” Meyer is currently reading Future Money by James Robertson, standing by the belief that Jim Henson's fantasy classic The Dark Crystal is the best film of all time and is fascinated with watching “the explosion in creative applications, over the past two years since the XBOX Kinect.” The new device has no physical remote – rather your voice is the remote. “I'm inspired by people who express themselves though movement, whether they are dancing, playing an instrument or creating pictures.” Or perhaps playing an Xbox Kinect game of Tennis? (This can't be avoided as an assumption.) ”I am starting to see people creating images and sounds by moving their bodies freely though space,” Meyer excitedly states.

Gertrude Street Projection Festival runs from Friday 20 July until Thursday 26 July, 6pm, Gertrude St.