There is an ‘otherness’ to Australian artist, Nicki Crawford’s work that immediately communicates to the viewer that big stories lie within. Contrasting and contradictory layers of paint, instinctive yet deliberate mark-making, and distinctive colour palettes create her visual vocabulary. These tools are what she takes into her explorations of metaphysical concepts. Holding transient ideas together is the embedded undercurrent of the cyclical nature of the earth, the stars, the seasons, and life.
The technique of paint application, the scraping, the concealing, the shifting, and moving is the physical act of processing time, place, memory, and objects until one mark or gesture retains the essence of an entire experience. It could be A Joy, A Heartbreak, A Reflection on a pond, A long distance, or the Residue of a Conversation found in a mark which has been scratched, smoothed, washed, rubbed, painted over, blotted, lived and relived until it is reduced to a line, a hue, a scratch or a wash. In that mark, can live a story, a look, or a long passage of time stretching on forever.
The congruence of her picture relies on that mark finding its place on the canvas amongst all the other marks to tell its story. To find its order is to take its place in time, memory and heart. The artist invites the viewer into a landscape turned inwards for the soul to travel on.
Nycki Crawford completed a degree in fine arts from RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology) in 2012. She moved to Havelock North with her family in 2020 where she discovered a spiritual connection to her new home, Sunborne, a Chapman-Taylor house on the side of Te Mata Peak. The ideas and philosophies of The Havelock Work, a group of free-thinking individuals from the early to mid 20th century, resonated with her own personal inquiries with regard to art-making and the natural world.