Mark Rayner, Saint Jacinda of Corona AD 2020

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 ceramic works are a modern and playful take on the grotesque; a style characterised by exaggeration, excess and the fantastic. In recent years, Rayner has begun to work across a variety of other media, including latch hook rugs. His piece Little (a latch-hook rug portrait of former Labour Party leader Andrew Little) caused a media stir when it was included in the Wallace Art Awards exhibition in 2016. For this exhibition, Rayner has created a series of portraits in the form of devotional icons in which he canonises Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as a living saint.

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 Arts House Trust, and was a finalist in the Wallace Art Awards in 2011, 2014 and 2016 to 2018 inclusive.