Kent Crawford was born in 1956 in British Columbia. After a youth spent in Vancouver and at Long Beach on Vancouver Island, he studied fine art at the University of California at Irvine and industrial design at Western Washington University. For the last twenty years, Crawford’s paintings and screen prints have reflected his experience of the West Coast wilderness as a spiritual retreat from the disorder of human physical life. It is the source of his mystical insights into the nature of nature. As a hiker, and tree planter, the artist is familiar with many terrains and discovers in them all an immutability that anchors his soul and a variety that excites his mind and senses. Who has not marveled at the diamonds glinting on the surface of a still pond or been transfixed by eddy that swirls perpetually around a river rock? But few have found ways to capture the eternal while revealing the flux. Crawford’s images of mountains, lakes, rivers, clear cuts and salmon spawns are not photographic nor are they post- impressionist interpretations of what the eye perceives, rather his rendition of any moment in nature seeks to distill the rhythms and patterns which are constant through change, the order that’s the epicentre of chaos. From a distance, most of his works have the clarity of high realism, but, up close, the recognizable aspects dissolve into an array of thousands of exquisitely wrought, abstract colored marks which manage to convey a sense of the explosion that generated all things in the world. These meaningful particles (whether painted or painstakingly screen printed) flock over the quietude like excited birds enlivening the mystical core that is central to the spirituality of each piece.
Ann Rosenberg Freelance critic/curator