Craig Ruddy is an award winning contemporary artist who lives and works in The Pocket in Northern NSW Australia.

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. The recognition of Australian Indigenous People and Culture is also a core theme that has permeated the narrative of his past work and exhibitions.

Craig Ruddy’s inimitable painting style pushes the traditional boundaries of this classic medium. 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. The illusory technique mirrors a deeper spiritual metaphor; the interconnectedness of all things.

The artist’s work is a continuing tribute to his surroundings, country and the people that reside within it. Ruddy’s practice is intuitive and organic. His use of free flowing sensitive lines combined with a vibrant dynamic colour palate result in bold paintings that are both sensual and powerful, aptly reflecting the inspiration he draws from the Australian landscape.


The Archibald Prize is the most prestigious painting prize in Australia, awarded annually to the best portrait, ‘preferentially of some man or woman distinguished in art, letters, science or politics, painted by any artist resident in Australasia’.

This open competition is judged by the trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW. Finalists are displayed in an exhibition at the Gallery.

The Archibald Prize was first awarded in 1921. In establishing the prize, JF Archibald’s aim was to foster portraiture as well as support artists and perpetuate the memory of great Australians. Over the years some of Australia’s most prominent artists have entered and the subjects have been equally celebrated in their fields.


Craig Ruddy has been a winner and finalist of the Archibald prize and the People’s Choice Award.

2004 / Portrait of David Gulpilil “Two Worlds”
Archibald Prize Winner
Winner of the People’s choice award in Sydney and Melbourne.

David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu AM, is an Aboriginal actor and traditional dancer.

2006/ Self Portrait “Into the box”
Finalist Archibald Prize

2010 / Portrait of Warwick Thornton “The Prince of Darkness”.
Archibald Prize Finalist
Winner of the people’s choice award

Warwick Thornton is an aboriginal writer/director, won the Camera d’Or for Best Feature Film at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival for Samson & Delilah.

2011 / Portrait of Cathy Freeman
Archibald Prize Finalist

Cathy Freeman is an Aboriginal Olympic Gold Medallist


Craig Ruddy exhibits regularly and his works are held in numerous important private collections both in Australia and internationally. He has had solo exhibitions at the Cork Street Gallery in London, Nanda Hobbs Contemporary, Richard Martin, Trevor Victor Harvey, Graphis Gallery, Fringe Festival and S.H. Ervin Gallery in Sydney, as well as in group exhibitions at many Australian institutions including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Faux Mo MONA, Broken Hill Art Gallery and Victoria Arts Centre.