In her first London solo exhibition Rayner pays homage to the lens: whether man-made or the natural lens. Her works utilise sunstones, photographic enlarger lenses, fresnel lenses, prisms and orbs, all of which allow us to move beyond the natural limitations of human vision, and to see the world in a different light.
The title Luminous Flux refers to the perceived power of light altered to the sensitivities of the eye. Rayner draws our attention to the relationship between light and perception, developing narratives and compositions from often abstract and immaterial notions. Works in the exhibition include photographic prints, glass installations, videos, light boxes, textiles and works on glass.
Rayner’s exhibition engages with the history of the lens. First created in ancient times it has many of the same purposes today. In amplifying visual information to our mind’s eye, the lens provides a deeper intensity of seeing, and a visual pathway to new knowledge.
According to Rayner vision depends on two things: light - whether from the sun or artificial sources - and the lens of our eyes. In navigating the vagueness of our visual world we draw upon a third property: perceptual interpretation. We may think we see the world directly but it is the mind that provides meaning to what we see.
Different lenses capture what would otherwise be indiscernible to the naked human eye. In her Optical Aberrations series Rayner employs polarizing filters to present a unique perspective on a beach scene. As Seen from Below the Horizon uses a telescope mirror to create a complete 360° rainbow, an impossible visual object because the ground is always in the way. Rayner encourages the viewer to question what the mind sees, or our habits of looking, and consider alternative ways of seeing.
“I am drawn to how our understanding of light and vision have changed over time. For one of my pieces I reference the visual world before Isaac Newton, who uncovered the physical properties of light. People then did not understand the colour spectrum although they observed it each time they saw a rainbow. Habit, imagination and knowledge informs everything we see.”
Jessica Rayner, February 2016.
About the Artist
Jessica Rayner (b.1985) is a British artist whose work examines the energy of ‘things’ within nature and the environment. She uses a range of media, including photography, video, printmaking and three-dimensional sculpture, to explore the idea of energy through objects, materials, substances and processes.
Rayner received a BA in Fine Art Painting from the University of Brighton (2007) and an MA in Fine Art Printmaking from the Royal College of Art (2012). She is the co-author of The Metabolic Landscape: Perception, Practice and Energy Transition, Black Dog Publishing, London, 2014.
Recent exhibitions include The Bright Fields, OBS Gallery, Tunbridge Wells (2015); Moon Space One, R1 Reactor Hall, Sweden (2015); The Metabolic Landscape, Keele University Gallery and The Parkside Gallery, Birmingham (2014/15); WINTERREISE, Christine Park Gallery, London (2015). Rayner has also exhibited at Art Busan, South Korea (2015) and Multiplied Art Fair, Christie’s, London (2012).
She lives and works in London.