Ben Crawford, Marking Time

Irish-born Ben Crawford says that his work is “often autobiographical, with stories and characters from my life informing and populating the paintings. I’m interested in the mythologisation of memory.” Now living in northern NSW, surreal elements in Ben’s work transform the traditional landscape into a somewhat mystical realm.

“These paintings stem from little kernels of ideas; stories and memories lodged in my brain. Sometimes there’s a specific image I’m trying to re-create, but more often I’m trying to produce a familiar feeling in the work. This initial concept stage is such an important part of my painting process. I probably spend more time thinking about a piece than actually physically producing it. Using photos, drawings and collage I translate these ideas into a loose plan for the painting, then I’ll transfer these compositions on to the canvas with charcoal. Every painting is a different beast. There’s a real interplay between my initial concepts and the abstract qualities of the painting process itself which always surprises me. I think it’s important to let the painting dictate what decisions need to be made next and not force it to become something it doesn’t want to be. Out of this kind of conversation, that initial kernel, that tiny idea, can grow into something strange and wonderful.”

To see a full listing click here. Marking Time runs until June 16.