A self-taught artist, Craig Calderwood’s intricate and decorative works are rendered through a personal vernacular of symbols and patterns. Recalling the private languages that underground communities of queer and trans people used for safety for decades, Calderwood develops these patterns and symbols though research into history, personal narratives, and pop cultural moments. They then arrange them into constellations to tell stories both personal and fantasized.
Utilizing low-end materials like fabric paint, polymer clay, found fabrics and fibre tip pens, Calderwood explores ideas around desire, biodiversity, and otherness. They also looks at how material practice forms its own language for safe and coded communication within hostile environments.
Flexing the intended use of their mediums, Calderwood’s work moves through the material ideologies of painting, drawing, and textile, to form images whose lines and textures teeter between thread and paint, blurring not just the binaries of their materials, but of their subjects.