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VISUAL ESSAY with Maysey Craddock

All images: © Courtesy of Maysey Craddock

Curated by Varia Serova



Best known for her visceral gouache paintings of ephemeral landscapes, Maysey Craddock deciphers the dualities and mysteries of natural world. Using saturated earth tones and translucent layers, she captures the relationship between nature and architecture, focusing on environments beyond human intervention. Craddock's imagery is dense and dynamic, with trees, watery surfaces and roots symbolising the eternal cycle of death and rebirth, her works referencing the physical and the metaphysical, collapsing time, place, and memory.


Taking as inspiration her own photographs of wetlands and other fragile natural environments, her process layers intricate drawings and performative painting onto found objects (typically, brown paper bags, carefully embroidered together). This conceptual regeneration mirrors geological processes, capturing and preserving Craddock's observations of organic forms, shapes and patterns, transporting the viewer into a meditative place that is both nostalgic and feral.

"There is a chunk of time where I am only seeing the trees, and then, towards the end, I begin to stand back more, and try to see the forest. It becomes a balance between light and dark, the contrast of dense color and washy strokes, all weaving together until I feel, instinctually, that the painting has achieved the perfect harmony and tension. The built paper and the unbuilt image merge."

Cicada, 2019, gouache and thread on paper bags, 48 x 62 in © Courtesy of Maysey Craddock

nothing gold can stay, 2020, gouache and thread on paper bags, 37 x 28 in © Courtesy of Maysey Craddock

Silvering the Tide, 2021, gouache and thread on paper bags, 48 x 61.5 in © Courtesy of Maysey Craddock

Bathysphere, 2021, gouache, flashe and thread on paper bags, 47.5 x 37.25 in © Courtesy of Maysey Craddock

Palisades of the Night, 2021, gouache, flashe and thread on paper bags, 48 x 62 in © Courtesy of Maysey Craddock


rising from a deeper dream, 2020, gouache flashe and thread on paper bags, 54 x 72 in © Courtesy of Maysey Craddock

remember the mountain, remember the sea, 2019, gouache and thread on paper bags, 61.5 x 47.5 in © Courtesy of Maysey Craddock

Shelter from the Tides, 2020, gouache, flashe and thread on paper bags, 40 x 58 in © Courtesy of Maysey Craddock

Whippoorwill, 2019, gouache, flashe and thread on paper bags, 47.75 x 61.5 in © Courtesy of Maysey Craddock


© Courtesy of Maysey Craddock