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Jessca Rayner

Born in United Kingdom. Lives in: London
Royal College of Art

My recent artistic explorations of the relationship between geological phenomena and life has so far taken me to examine slate quarries in Wales, explore entropic decay and volcanic form in Iceland and experience of light and dark in Spitzbergen in the Arctic Circle. These are all, in different ways, extreme settings, both geologically and experientially. The geological history and environment specific to each area has directly informed the direction each resulting art piece I have produced. As a starting point to each of these projects I have collected and recounted past and present personal experiences of geological phenomena. I have examined the links between the political, historical and the everyday in order to map the ways in which science, ecology and human meaning interrelate. These, I have found, appear almost like palimpsests, containing layered histories if inevitably fading pasts. Drawing upon, the way in which geology is expressed, its language and use of metaphor, in... [more]

Artist photo

Artist Picture


Work of art I would like to make

This project idea involves an artistic journey of attempts as I try to reach the Surtsey, the youngest island in the world. A place where only a few selected scientist are allowed access, I will by boat, plane or helicopter try to gain access to this island and experience what it like to walk on a terrain (that has the appearance of tens of thousands of years but is only 50yrs old) were only a few have been before. It will be a piece of work about overcoming obstacles and embracing potential failures. It is about a connection to an Island but also a voyage into time and place, memory and meaning.

What I propose will not be a piece of work which relies solely on the success of the intention, which may or may not occur, but reveals itself as a documentation of the project and journey attempt and its outcomes and findings. What this implies is that failure to access the island will be embraced with as much interest and enthusiasm as the first step onto Surtsey’s shore line, although personally I find the latter is preferable. At the very least, this assumption indicates my realism in the likely achievement of this objective.

The exhibition itself will feature a variety of components in which I have proficiency. These include film, sound recordings and photography, alongside the visual and administrative documentation. The practice lines I follow operate across a range of technical fields, adopting or adapting media and technique in accordance with the material production or image about which that I am interested. Recurring elements take on different forms, reappearing and re-establishing themselves within a different context. In my attempt to engage with the materiality of nature and geological events – some of which stretch over the vast expanses of geological time, others which are visually rapid - I deconstruct and reconfigure form and content through a range of media, including photography, video, collage and three dimensional sculptural works.
In attempting to contextualise found objects from these locations I give attention to the microcosmic, the overlooked or the concealed, which can also be an essential aide, in my view, to appreciating the full texture and complexity of any particular place.


My Artworks (6)

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