Boom Artist Chats : Ben Crawford

Ben Crawford’s much anticipated, upcoming solo exhibition at Boom scheduled for May/June 2020 has been postponed due to the current circumstances. We checked in with Ben who lives in Southern Queensland on a beautiful little property with his young family, to see how he is going during lockdown. Ben’s painting studio, a decommissioned food truck sounds quite charismatic, however not without limitations. With some extra time at home Ben decided to convert an old shipping container into a new studio. It’s been a joy to watch this unfold on his Instagram feed, complete with great tunes!


The new studio!

We chatted a little about the impact the pandemic lockdown has had on the art world and how Ben has enjoyed seeing the art community using their creative powers to connect and share their work online. There is a generous spirit out there at the moment which, despite the chaos, is heartening. There are so many artists and organisations sharing tutorials, stories and inspiration. Ben and his daughter enjoyed a Quentin Blake @isolationartschool little drawing lesson together the other day which sounded magic.

Ben had completed many of his works for his show, largely influenced by his family, memories, and nostalgia. Originating from Ireland it made sense to hear that capturing these feelings in domestic moments helps bring his Irish family closer to him. We spoke about if and how the pandemic would influence the few remaining works he had left to paint. With global travel bans going on for possibly some time, Ireland perhaps feels even further away. Ben seemed curious about how this would influence his new works and also completing them in his new, larger studio too.


Question for Ben Crawford:

Apart from lovely family time and building a new studio, what else are you enjoying?

Reading: Looking at Fairfield Porter. Trying to make my way through R.B Kitaj’s autobiography. Listening to some great John Steinbeck audiobooks. Reading ‘The Once and Future King’.

Listening: For painting I love listening to jazz. I’m really appreciating how amazing an artist Miles Davis was. He just kept pushing himself and was constantly on the move artistically. His late sixties albums are particularly inspiring me at the moment. I’ve also recently discovered Alice Coltrane and John Hassel; strange, otherworldly music. When I’m not listening to the Frozen 2 soundtrack for the millionth time (I have two girls…) my wife and I are loving Johnny Flynn and I can never get enough of Joni Mitchell. Also I’ve been rediscovering sounds from childhood- Chris Rea ‘Wired to the Moon’ !!

Watching: like everyone else who has access to a tv during these strange times I’ve been streaming some good shows and movies. I’ve seen some great art related things recently: ‘At Eternity’s Gate’ a biopic about Van Gogh, and ‘Ben Quilty: painting the shadows’ on ABC. Also, there’s a fantastic Miles Davis documentary on Netflix. And of course Frozen 2…

If you would like to receive a preview of Ben’s paintings for his upcoming solo exhibition please get in touch!