Born in Dublin, he attended Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology from 1979. He specialised in sculpture, but also worked in print and painting, winning a prize at the Taylor Art Competition for painting in 1980.
He received the Alfred Beit Award and the Norah McGuinness Award before graduating in 1983. Russell is Studio Director at Graphic Studio Dublin, and has been a member since 1988. In 1999 the Chester Beatty Library commissioned him to make an etching, a woodcut, and an engraving to demonstrate printmaking techniques for a video displayed in the library. They also acquired one of his mezzotints for their permanent collection.
Exhibitions include a solo show at Graphic Studio Gallery, Revelation and Art into Art at the National Gallery of Ireland, Artist’s Proof, Gardens of Earthly Delight and Holy Show at the Chester Beatty Library, Ireland France Print Exchange, Paris, Ile d’Hiver, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, and Leuven Institute, Belgium as well as the RHA Banquet Show as guest of Patrick Hickey.