art practice overview

Through the integration of theme, process and media Jude Crawford explores the intricate patterns, textures and metaphoric potential of everyday materials and objects. Her work invites the viewer to embark on a journey of imagination and introspection.


Jude Crawford lives in Marshdale, two and a half hours north of Sydney, Australia.  She holds a B.A. (Visual Arts) and Diploma of Education from Newcastle College of Advanced Education. Jude has exhibited regionally, in Sydney and London. Her work is represented in Maitland Regional Art Gallery and in private collections in Australia and abroad.  After undertaking a period of Visual Arts Teaching, which corresponded with a hiatus in her art practice, Jude returned to exhibiting in 2020.

                                email : jude@judecrawford.com

artworks : survey







selected exhibitions


2021 di-ˈfyü-zhən (with Isobel Johnston), Fracas: Articulate Project Space, 497 Parramatta Rd., Leichhardt

2020 Where your imagination takes you, (a collaborative work with Isobel Johnston), AT10: Articulate Turns Ten, Articulate Project Space, 497 Parramatta Rd., Leichhardt

selected solo exhibitions

2006 What happened, Esa Jaske Gallery, 27-39 Abercrombie St., Chippendale

2004 Paper Memories,   Side-on gallery, 125 Parramatta Rd., Annandale

2002 Fabrications, Side-on gallery, 125 Parramatta Rd., Annandale

2000 Fragments, STUFF gallery, Bethnal Green, London

1999 Fragments, Side-on gallery, 83 Parramatta Rd., Annandale

1998 Threads, 51 Regent Street Gallery, Chippendale

1998 Works in Blood and Wax: Bloody Myths and Fairy Tales, CBD gallery, Erskine St., Sydney

1997 Works in Blood and Wax, 151 Regent Street Gallery, Chippendale

selected group exhibitions

2024 Earth, Articulate Project Space, 497 Parramatta Rd., Leichhardt

2022 Failure. (with Therese Briggs, Billy Crawford, Isobel Johnston, Clache Raong and Sue Murray), Articulate Project Space, 497 Parramatta Rd., Leichhardt

2006 Nothing Matters, (with Isobel Johnston), Esa Jaske Gallery, 27-39 Abercrombie S.t, Chippendale

2004 Gold, Side-on gallery, 125 Parramatta Rd., Annandale

2003 5:15 Paper Memories, Newcastle city west ARTwalk Project

2003 Selected works by Maitland Artists and Artisans -"Wanderings",  Maitland City Art Gallery

2002 Fortune, Side-on gallery, 125 Parramatta Rd., Annandale

1999 Thoughts on the end of the second millennium, Maitland City Art Gallery

1997 Intersections ' 97, a component of Australian Perspecta 1997 Between Art and Nature, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Paddington

1996 Firstdraft's 10th Anniversary Exhibition, Firstdraft, Surry Hills

1996 Survey Tertiary Student Art Prize Winners (1976-1995), Maitland City Art Gallery

1994 Exchange (with Isobel Johnston), Firstdraft, Surry Hills

1992 Survey of Maitland Tertiary Art Prize Winners, Maitland City Art Gallery


2006 Selected for exhibition in The Broken Hill Regional Gallery's Art Prize for works on paper.

1999 The Politics of Everyday Fear or The Order of Things or You Wanna Get Outta Here, You Talk to Me or The Aesthetics of Disappearance or..., Artspace Perspecta Project, 1999, devised by Nicholas Tsoutas

1997 BLACK O WALL DRAWINGS, Kerrie Poliness, Sarah Cottier Gallery, Sydne


on the line

Sunshine and wind play; casting dancing shadows across freshly washed curtains. Birds call. Melancholy undercurrents pulse.

Human activity in concert or conflict with nature... It is all on the line.

on the line was exhibited at Articulate Project Space as part of Earth 2024


  picking up the thread 

dark curve - cells breathing, digital animation, 2022

The origin of this mixed media work can be found in 2006 during my recuperation from brain surgery. I had had a meningioma removed. I was constantly fatigued and unable to work. I could not read with comprehension nor could I concentrate on films or television, screens were intolerable.

At some point I decided to sew a lining into a bag and, to my surprise, the activity brought a strange calm. I produced perfect, near invisible stitches with a never before experienced patience and dexterity. After the bag came a fringed scarf and any mending I could find. It occurred to me that I might unify the experience by making an embroidery based on brain tumour cells. I gathered images and materials and began.

As my normal brain function returned my interest in tiny stitches failed and I put the embroidery aside to finish later.  Sixteen years later I picked up the thread to see where it might lead.

 an early drawing


original unfinished embroidery, 2006, 36cm x 24cm and detail (photograph, 2022) 


detail construction, 2022, dimensions variable, rope, paint, cord, pins and photograph

the following images:  installation at Articulate Project Space, Leichhardt, Sydney, November, 2022 as part of Failure. (a group exhibition with Therese Briggs, Billy Crawford, Isobel Johnston, Clache Raong and Sue Murray)

Jude Crawford and Isobel Johnston Collaborations 2020 - 2021

Over many years Isobel and I have worked on various projects, from showing our individual artwork together to full collaborations.

A recurrent theme in Isobel’s work is the intersections between science and art, often with a focus on the natural world. She plays with scale and perception. My work recontextualises the intricate patterns, forms and textures of materials and objects to explore their beauty and metaphoric potential. Our most recent collaboration draws on our primary forms of practice and extends these into digital imagery and projection pieces.

In its initial stages the project was concerned with environmental and ecological issues. However, its evolution, both in terms of theme and process, broadened in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The first piece, where your imagination takes you, was completed on-line during lockdown.

The works, created by the digital manipulation of cyanotypes, became a meditation on personal and global interconnections. They open up an imaginary space that allows the viewer to travel through abstract blue to wherever the mind is taken.

where your imagination takes you, 2020 - 2021

 Jude Crawford and Isobel Johnston, where your imagination takes you, 2020, digitally manipulated cyanotype diptych on Canson rag paper, each panel 76cm x 102cm

Isobel Johnston and Jude Crawford hanging where your imagination takes you, Articulate Project Space for AT:10 Articulate Turns Ten 2020

di-ˈfyü-zhən, 2021

Jude Crawford and Isobel Johnston, di-ˈfyü-zhən, 2021, digital animation

When projected onto hanging fabric, di-ˈfyü-zhən, hovers within a site echoing these times where the virtual has come to eclipse the real.

di-ˈfyü-zhən, 2021, animated projection on hanging fabric, Articulate Project Space for Fracas 2021

what happened

what happened consists of five groups of work: woven, witness, remembrance, fade and forgotten. The work, which continues the explorations of paper memories 2003-4, are a reflection on the nature of memory and a further exploration of the nexus between theme and process. Each group invites comparison with different aspects of human memory, moving from its formation to the contemplation of complete forgetfulness. Can we ever be certain of what happened?

woven - gives consideration to the weaving and re-weaving of our ever shifting perceptions of what happened.




woven, 2006, twelve over lapping sheets of paper 60cmx90cm (total dimensions variable), rice paper, naphtol dye, varnish, eyelets, press pins

The compositions above are just a small sample of the multitude of possible combinations.


witness - these three small works resulted from a common process.  Just as three people standing side by side must have a physically different perspective on any given event, the slight variation in position of each section of paper during the dying procedure was decisive in the creation of the varied marks recorded.

witness, 2006 - a series of three framed works 38cm x 30cm, rice paper, naphtol dye, varnish

remembrance - created from the salvaged remains of a previous work* these five fragments have been carefully framed behind glass and given individual standing. The new context has shifted them far from their original incarnation.  Disjointed relics, they give scant indication of the scale and nature of the work of which they were once part.  Like the selectively enshrined memories of an individual or group, they are validated by the ‘truth’ they create.

*Paper Memories: memories coming to light, installation, Side on gallery, 125 Parramatta Rd, Annandale, 2004

remembrance, 2006 - a series of five framed works 38cm x 30cm, rice paper, naphtol dye, varnish

remembrance, 2006 detail

fade - simulates the effect of time on memory. Consecutive sheets of paper were subjected to slightly different ‘experiences’. As a result, negative spaces open and close and different elements attain prominence. Some details are ‘remembered’, others are ‘warped’ or ‘forgotten’ and with greater distance from the origin, they gradually fade.

 fade, 2006, seven over lapping sheets of paper 60cm x 90cm (total dimensions variable), rice paper, naphtol dye, varnish, eyelets, press pins

forgotten - With the final step of the process abandoned there is no record of what happened.  All that remains is a shimmering emptiness that nevertheless carries its own meaning and weight.

forgotten, 2006, six over lapping sheets of paper 60cm x 90cm (total dimensions variable), rice paper, naphtol dye, varnish, eyelets, press pins

the following images: what happened, Esa Jaske Gallery, 4th - 28th October, 2006



nothing matters

a joint exhibition held with Isobel Johnston at the Esa Jaske Gallery in 2006

Through a process of negation involving cutting out or blacking out, Isobel and I both remodelled quotidian craft activities associated with the home rather than the studio. The resulting works are fictional (no longer fabric nor tapestry) providing a narrative space to examine our relationship to the aesthetics of the everyday world they represent.


Jude Crawford, absence 1 (left) and absence 2 (right), 2006, each 6 x cut stencil paper 76cm x 100cm

In absence 1 and absence 2, lace patterns provide a means to explore negative space, reductive art making and the notion that 'emptiness has weight; absence gestures at meaning.' *

*Shields, Carol,  Dressing up for the Carnival, 'Invention', Fourth Estate Ltd., London, 2000

Isobel Johnston, House with a picket fence, 2006, Fabric paint on found wool tapestry, 26 x 38 cm (courtesy of the artist)

In Isobel Johnston's repurposed tapestries untouched circles become abstract focal points on obscured backgrounds.

paper memories

paper memories consists of three closely related series. In each, paper holds a record of the ‘experiences’ to which it has been subjected. Folded, wrapped, twisted or pleated before dyeing, each sheet is unique. The works can be assembled in any order or stand alone. The dimensions are variable and adaptable. Those sheets of paper treated with damar varnish, beautifully translucent at first, will become yellow and brittle, and disintegrate with age. The others will be more easily preserved. Produced by design, chance and accident, the works seek to emulate the individuality, fallibility and fragility of memory.

memories: coming to light - the 'experiences' of the back lit, overlapping, translucent paper sheets interact. Some shine forth, others merge or retreat; together they make an integrated whole.

below, paper memories enhanced by reflection

5:15 paper memories: coming to light, 2003, site specific shop window installation, the Newcastle city west ARTwalk project, rice paper, naphtol dyes, damar and acrylic varnish, beeswax

The following images: paper memories, Side-on gallery, Annandale, 2004 - a reconfiguration of elements used in the Newcastle city west ARTwalk piece with the addition of new 'experiences'

memories: coming to light, 2003/2004, rice paper, naphtol dyes, damar and acrylic varnish, beeswax, 375cm x 200cm

shared experience: pinning it down – the shared ‘experience’ of the components of each work did not result in identical images. Folded, clamped or tied in the same manner, immersed in the same dye bath for the same duration, even a slight difference in orientation affected the record; the more pronounced the difference, the greater the disparity.

pinning it down: green accord, 2004, rice paper, naphthol dye, varnish, beeswax, variable dimensions (each sheet 64cm x 83cm)

pinning it down: blue memory, 2004, two sheets 30cm x 40cm and pinning it down: red slant, 2004, variable dimensions (each sheet 64cm x 83cm)

fixed memories - 'experience' collages.  While these works can be brought together in various combinations they are each fundamentally complete and immutable.

 fixed memories, 2004 rice paper, naphtol dye, canvas, varnish, beeswax, 30cm x 60cm




 4/40 fabrications, 2001 - 2002, rice paper, beeswax, naphtol dyes, wood, 10cm x 7.5cm

These extremely fragile, intimate works shift the patterns derived from mass produced net fabrics into the organic realm of the hand-made where they become a meditation on surface and desire. The translucent tissue enfolds the frames with the promise of a gift. What is there to uncover? What is there to possess? What if there is nothing?

The delicate snakeskin-like surfaces seem about to shed. They tempt us to touch, pick, peel...  What if there is nothing beyond their allure?

low relief and 3d fabrications, 2002, Side-on Gallery, Annandale, Sydney, Australia, rice paper, beeswax, naphtol dyes, cardboard and wood

fabrication parcels, 2002, Side-on Gallery, Annandale, Sydney, Australia, rice paper, beeswax, naphtol dyes, cardboard and wood

works in blood and wax

The phrase, “blood is thicker than water”, ran through my childhood. It was used to confirm, comfort and control. There is no doubt it informs the works in blood and wax series which sets out to create a tension between  the controlled surface and intellectual, cultural and emotional responses to blood.

My blood is the primary medium. In each work it is constrained by the wax resist which defines the image. The medium is challenging but the works are not morbid. They are memento mori embracing life.

series 1: decorative works in blood and wax, 1997

decorative works in blood and wax 5 and 3, 1997, blood and wax on canvas, each 152cm x 111cm

decorative works in blood and wax, 151 Regent Street Gallery, Sydney, Australia

series 2: bloody myths and fairy tales, 1998

Fairies loll about in rose scented gardens, garlanded girls dance with unicorns, rocket ships shoot into space, powerful trucks surge forward and Neptune, his trident held high, is carried through the waves accompanied by mermaids riding dolphins.

These images are derived from children's bedroom curtaining widen the range of concerns to explicitly include intellectual and emotional attitudes towards childhood, the inculcation of gender stereotypes and cultural values through imagery.   The blood renders the fantasies disturbingly corporal and introduces the shades of fear and taboo.


bloody myths and fairy tales: feast, frolic, shoot, surge and swell, 1998, blood and wax on canvas, each panel 80cm x 155cm

bloody myths and fairy tales, CBD Gallery, Sydney, Australia

series 3: threads, 1998

threads consists of four grid-based works. The works have the same proportions, but the repeated use of the gauze template results in individual distortion, rhythm and flow. While the works are fundamentally abstract, their distorted and blood permeated grids recall gauze bandaging and processes of wounding and healing.  


threads: 2, 1998, blood and wax on canvas, 200cm x 80cm

series 4: fragments - works on paper in blood, black and wax, 1999 - 2000

fragments is comprised of 45 images produced in six sequences. Mirroring the entropy inherent in all systems, each sequence moves from formal organisation towards chaos. The characteristic strengths and weaknesses of the gauze fabric, the nature of the external forces applied and the varying stability of the pigments all play a role. The sequences reveal not so much deterioration as chaotic beauty and liberate space for the imagination.

fragments blood sequence, 1999-2000, blood and wax on paper, each panel, 18cm x 24cm

fragments black sequence, 1999-2000, pigment and wax on paper, each panel, 18cm x 24cm


fragments, STUFF Gallery, Bethnal Green, London, U.K.

fragment D10 black sequence (detail), 1999-2000, pigment and wax on paper