By Ben Crawford
"I think what connects these three paintings is my continued interest in looking back to understand the now. I recently re-watched the 1970’s movie ‘Swallows and Amazons’ with my girls and I was struck by how much of the imagery in the film has stayed with me and influenced the themes and compositions in my work. The painting ‘A different, distant life’ is a purposeful ode to this significant part of my childhood, referencing the film itself but also riffing on my own schoolboy adventures. The other two paintings are similarly evocative of past experiences: ‘When we were outlaws’ imaging the exploits my brothers and I shared and ‘An accidental odyssey’ portraying the thrill of loneliness I had as a teenager wandering through the fields near my home. "
Ben Crawford is a painter in the post-modern tradition. He takes inspiration from a variety of sources, and uses a mixture of mediums to make his work, from traditional painting techniques with oil and synthetic polymer, to spray paint and mono-printing. His work is often bursting with colour. Surreal elements transform the traditional landscape into a somewhat mystical realm, charged with mystery. Figures, architecture and landmarks imbue Ben’s paintings with a sense of narrative, anchoring his work tentatively to reality.
The artist says this about his work: 'My work is often autobiographical, with stories and characters from my life informing and populating the paintings. For me, painting is about trying to find my place in the landscape. Consciously or not, my paintings are sort of like maps which I navigate this world by. Sometimes I find my way, sometimes I get horribly lost...’
Born in Cork, Ireland, Ben graduated from C.C.A.D in 2007 with a BA in Fine Art. Since 2011 he has lived in northern New South Wales, with his wife and two daughters, painting from his studio situated on an organic banana plantation.