Surreal elements and semi-autobiographical narratives in the work of Ben Crawford


Born in Cork, Ireland, Ben Crawford graduated from C.C.A.D in 2007 with a BA in Fine Art. He now lives in northern New South Wales, Australia, with his wife and daughter, painting from his studio situated on an organic banana plantation.

‘I’ve had an interest in the interaction between humans and the land since my college days. The idea that we can shape and transform the earth to our needs and aesthetic tastes has been around for thousands of years, but the landscape has an equally transformative effect on us as well; mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. This ongoing dialogue is something that really fuels my work.

I’ve been lucky enough to grow up in a very beautiful rural part of Ireland. Now I live in another lovely part of the world which happens to be in a relatively untouched wild country setting too. Living in these places has certainly influenced my perception of the world around me. My relationship with the land has become reflective in nature: I tend to project a lot of whatever I’m thinking about onto the landscape and it bounces those thoughts back to me in shapes, lines, textures, colours and composition. When I approach a painting, it’s not so much to capture a representation of what I’m seeing, but more a way of filtering and recording that conversation between my brain and the landscape. This means sometimes surreal elements and semi-autobiographical narratives find there way into my work. Painting is a way for me to understand my place in the world. My part in the landscape.’

You can view Ben’s paintings in the flesh at Retrospect Galleries in Byron Bay, or online on Instagram @ben_crawford_art and on his website:

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