21.10.21 - 23.01.22
SLIP TANK is part laboratory, part playground. In this major new solo exhibition by Belfast-based artist John Rainey, the sculptures and installations are concerned with things not being as they seem. Exploring portals, post-internet worlds, and sculptural glitches, Rainey makes reinterpretations and remakes of familiar forms using both old and new methods of object making; a combination of traditional casting processes (using materials like porcelain) and digital fabrication technologies such as 3D printing.
Within the exhibition, Rainey references the museum, the home, and the city, treating each as fluid and elastic. Presented in a state of non-fixity, and resisting the idea that things are only ever one thing, the sculptures in SLIP TANK are beacons of possibility. In deviating from their original and recognisable forms, they hint at alternatives, questioning what happens when we remove boundaries and disrupt expectations.
Rainey's sculptures appear as if they are in motion, seemingly moving through the Naughton Gallery on specially designed pedestals that feature wheels and handles. An optical illusion to the rear of the space hints at an alternate realm where these works have originated from. This is a place between the physical and the digital, where playful experiments with a Greco-Roman sculptural aesthetic meet industrial fabrication and the language of machines.
Rainey (b.1985) graduated from the Royal College of Art, London, in 2012. Previous solo exhibitions include Flayground, Berg Gallery, Stockholm (2019); On Visibility, Golden Thread Gallery Project Space, Belfast (2016); and Hyper Activity: Scenes From an Other Reality, Marsden Woo Gallery Project Space, London (2013). His work has been included in group exhibitions such as AWARD at the British Ceramics Biennial, Stoke-on-Trent (2019) and Crowded Thresholds, National Design & Craft Gallery, Kilkenny (2019). Rainey has undertaken residencies at the British School at Rome (2018) and Konstfack University, Stockholm (2013). His work is included in public collections including the UK Government Art Collection and the Arts Council of Northern Ireland Collection.