Russell Craig

Biography

DipAd Caulfield IT DipEd State Coll Vic FRMIT Tamarind Master Printer USA MVA Griff 

Craig's work has been exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, and is included in the collections of the Queensland Art Gallery, Darwin Museums and Art Galleries board - permanent collection, Australian Embassy art Collection, Vietnam; Central Academy of Fine Arts art collection, Beijing; Griffith University art collection and the Brisbane Civic Art Gallery and Museum collection, as well as a numerous regional galleries in Queensland. 

He is an art educator teaching as a Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the Queensland College of Art, Griffith University. His teaching experience has covered tertiary undergraduate and post-graduate supervision. 

Craig commenced his art training in the early 1970's in Melbourne at the Caulfield Institute of Technology and a postgraduate fellowship year in painting at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Directly after his RMIT training he completed a postgraduate Diploma of Education at the State College of Victoria, Hawthorn. In the early 1980's he receive a Queensland Government SARAS postgraduate scholarship that enabled him to study a master printer qualification at the prestigious Tamarind Institute, University of New Mexico, USA. 
In 2003 he completed a Masters in Visual Art qualification at Griffith University.

Artist residencies in New Caledonia, China, Vietnam and Japan assisted in the research theme of 'cultural appropriation' and presenting solo exhibitions in Australia during this period. Over the past ten years he has visited Japan five times and as a result assisted in the several collaborative art & educational projects between Griffith University and various Japanese art universities. Craig's most recent solo exhibitions include Mana, held at the Brisbane Powerhouse in October 2009; Objects of Navigation, Fortyfivedownstairs Gallery, Melbourne, 2010 and Altered States, at the Redcliffe City Art Gallery in December, 2011. This latest exhibition is a survey show featuring prints and drawings completed over the past 30 years of his art practice. Many of his most recent works were inspired by trips to America, Morocco, France, Laos, Cambodia,Thailand and Japan. 

In October 2011, Craig was invited to participate in a residency with the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts (Geidai). At the conclusion of the residency, he exhibited his work in a group exhibition at the esprit GST sightseeing Art Project hosted by Geidai at the Sumida Riverside Gallery, Tokyo. 

  

Artist Statement

Over recent years I have been inspired by residencies and travel in various overseas countries; namely America, Morocco, Japan, Thailand and France. I am also influenced by the unique environment of North Stradbroke Island situated on the eastern side of Moreton Bay near Brisbane, Queensland.  Not unlike art, traveling and residing in these various locations offers an experience that is out of the ordinary. There is the challenge of taking on new pathways and the discovery of unknown entities. The accumulation, collation and reinterpretation of visual images from these various ventures provide the inspiration for many of my artworks. The arrangements are random, placing a high value on serendipitous events, intuitive decisions where the laws of chance and serendipity have been given primacy over logic and reason.

Moving back and forth through different modes of expression is usual in my art practice. The best way I can describe these impulsive shifts is that I am merely responding to the experiences that are unfolding in my life; and hooking onto something deep-running in my nature. Of course, this is often shaped by travel, relationships, nature, collective history and current affairs. 

Each stylistic shift has its own place in my repertoire and each requires the physical act of marking and rigorously changing the surface tensions. Deep and rich blacks, bulbous forms, silky transitions from black to white, scraped and rigorously altered surfaces, calligraphic fluency, changing scale and seductive accidental surfaces, plus bold colour combinations are all a part of the mix. 

My relationship with the sea, through surfing and swimming in waters off Stradbroke Island, has shaped the concept of my recent work.  Sea forms and elliptical shapes dominate the imagery and the themes often address the subconscious through hybrid marine forms designed to trigger the viewer's imagination. 

 

 

Russell Craig

November, 2015

© Copyright Russell Craig 2013