Craig Ruddy — Australian Contemporary Art
Craig Ruddy (1968 –2022) was an Australian artist, known for winning the Archibald Prize in 2004 with his portrait of Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil. Ruddy died of complications related to COVID-19 on 4 January 2022, at the age of 53
“Craig Ruddy is an award winning contemporary artist who lives and works in The Pocket in Northern NSW Australia.
Craig Ruddy is renowned for his dramatic figurative portraits that are often interwoven into richly textured abstract landscapes. Ruddy’s art practice explores the space between our real and mythical connections to the land and environment. His work reflects a deeply personal ongoing spiritual journey, where the artist explores questions of social conscience as well as current environmental issues. The recognition of Australian Indigenous People and Culture is also a core theme that has permeated the narrative of his past work and exhibitions.Craig Ruddy’s inimitable painting style pushes the traditional boundaries of this classic medium. His work process involves a complex layering of mixed mediums that include paint, charcoal, pencil drawing, varnish and even glass. Ruddy’s figures become inseparable from the landscapes in which they reside. His unique use of layering creates an illusion of transparency, whereby the foreground and background seem to both simultaneously co-exist and disappear, becoming one and the same. The illusory technique mirrors a deeper spiritual metaphor; the interconnectedness of all things.The artist’s work is a continuing tribute to his surroundings, country and the people that reside within it. Ruddy’s practice is intuitive and organic. His use of free flowing sensitive lines combined with a vibrant, dynamic colour palatte result in bold paintings that are both sensual and powerful, aptly reflecting the inspiration he draws from the Australian landscape.”