John Rainey is interested in how the prevalence of the virtual and the simulated in our daily lives can cause our experiences of ‘reality’ and systems of living to become increasingly hyperreal. His uncanny sculptures reflect on existential questions, in particular those posed in a society where individuals have become increasingly familiar with a mutable notion of identity.
Exhibited in AWARD 2o19, Copia Romana explored the role of ‘the copy’ within Rome and its sculpture, bringing together references that range from the traditional work of copyists working after Greek models, to the film sets of Cinecittà (‘Cinema City’) and the excavations at Pompeii.
Produced through a combination of digital and material processes, from 3D printing to porcelain casting, Copia Romana reflects upon the translation and imitation of forms across time, place and materials, and the position of ceramics in particular within this system of copying.
Rainey studied at Manchester Metropolitan University (2006-2009) and at the Royal College of Art (2010-2012). He is a current member of Flax Art Studios, Belfast and an associated artist of Marsden Woo Gallery, London, where his first solo exhibition was held in 2013. Other notable exhibitions include his solo presentation ‘On Visibility’ at Golden Thread Gallery Project Space, Belfast, ‘Less + More’ at Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin, and ‘EVA International’ Ireland’s Biennial of Contemporary Art in Limerick.
In 2013, he completed a residency at Konstfack University for the Creative Arts, Stockholm’ as the Anglo-Swedish Society’s Visual Arts Scholar, and was awarded the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s British School at Rome Fellowship for 2018.