Mark Rayner, Moonies

Mark Rayner explores unlikely juxtapositions between medium and subject, playing with traditional craft techniques to create objects and images that can be alternately construed as threatening, beguiling and absurd. His glazed plates and figurines are a modern and playful take on the grotesque; a style characterised by exaggeration, excess, the fantastic and sometimes the abject. In recent years, Rayner has begun to work across a variety of other media, including photography and latch hook rugs.

His series of ceramic Moonies are at once a motley bunch of bewildered aliens and perhaps also a reference to the Unification Church of the United States, a group often described as a doomsday cult and known for the devotion and obedience of its members.

Based in Whanganui, Rayner has been working in ceramics since 2003. He has work in many private collections throughout New Zealand, including several pieces in the collection of the Wallace Arts Trust, and was a finalist in the Wallace Art Awards in 2011, 2014 and 2016 to 2018 inclusive.