Craig Ruddy is an award-winning contemporary artist who used to live and work in The Byron Bay shire of the Northern Rivers NSW, Australia.
To everyone’s shock, Craig sadly died in January 2022, at just 53 years of age. He was loved by everyone and there isn’t one person that doesn’t miss him. Such a beautiful man who touched everyone with love and kindness. He loved to dance and as we know was an amazing artist and friend to all.
As a child, Craig Ruddy would wake from his dreams to see the profiles of unfamiliar Indigenous faces in the shadows of his darkened bedroom and began to draw them. After a time, and as Craig grew up, he studied graphic design & the arts. he experimented with different mediums and ways of transcribing the messages that these visitors conveyed to him in his very own dreamtime.
In 2004, Craig had a dream he was to paint David Gulpilil, so he packed his backpack and went to find the Actor. Conducted a study. Created the artwork. Entered it in The Archibald Prize & Won. That very year, Craig went on to win the people’s choice awards for 2004 & 2010.
Craig Ruddy is renowned for his dramatic figurative portraits that are often interwoven into richly textured abstracted 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.
Hauntingly real, evocative, Ruddy has an ability to depict the very essence of things. Depicting raw human expression on abstract landscapes rich with texture, movement and vibrant with life. Uncensored. Beautiful and evolving. 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.
Some of Craig Ruddy’s work can be found at JEFA Gallery in Byron Bay – or email us for a catalogue of available works.