“The Magnificent Rayner Brothers Circus and special guest Jay Hutchinson” exhibition at Olga reviewed by Robyn Maree Pickens in the ODT 17/11/22

Brains with faces, flawed families, smoking dogs, self-portraits, and Liz (Queen Elizabeth II), the Rayner Brothers are back for another outing at Olga with their slightly outre ceramics. This time the “Circus” features Otepoti Dunedin-based artist Jay Hutchinson’s well-known embroidered works of found rubbish (screen-printed on to fabric and embroidered).

With more than a nod to the recently deceased Queen, Olga exhibits four ceramic statues of Liz wearing a bright yellow dress, hat, handbag, and pearl earrings by Mark Rayner, and one statue by both Mark and Paul Rayner. This collaborative work is the last in a semantic-physical transformation in which Liz becomes part lizard, with a yellow skirt her last human vestige. The other contemporary event Mark Rayner addresses is the monkey pox virus (a monkey covered in red spots). Perhaps also afflicted with monkey pox is the endearingly-titled Sad Orange Crystal Boy (2022), a hairless boy-man with big ears, a wide-mouthed smile, baby blue eyes, and yes, predominantly red spots on his torso and face. Both brothers present several self-portraits wearing t-shirt with slogans, while Paul Rayner also offers three Jesus Saves money boxes in time for Christmas.

Exhibited among this melange of troubled and cheerfully perverse characters are Hutchinson’s embroidered works in clear frames. Perhaps there are less Jimmy’s pie bags around at this time of the year, as Hutchinson has shifted his focus to lolly wrappers (Fruit Bursts and Milkshakes), a Rashuns bag, and the ultimate hint of summer, a Fruju wrapper. Insert summer jingle and check it out.

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Published by agallerypresents.com

Conceived as a two-year project, ‘a gallery’ opened in February 2011 at 393 Princes Street, Dunedin and closed in September 2012. Strategically placed south of the center of town nestled between tattoo studios, sex shops and a needle exchange. What was integral in the selection of the gallery space was that it would be able to be viewed from the street through the street level floor to ceiling windows. This would allow the artists showing to be exposed not only to viewers visiting the gallery, but also those walking past, as a gallery was to represent artists that did not fit within the commercial gallery context or the so called experimental project space’s, this would be the best way to expose a particular group of artists selected by gallery curator/manager Jay Hutchinson, artists he respected and admired and felt were not being represented in the gallery scene at the time.

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