2017 Screaming Gander Contemporary Art, Manchester. Solo exhibition
2017 Grafene, Manchester. Permanant exhibtion
2017 April Zari Gallery, Fitzrovia, London. Solo Exhibition
2016 October WCAF, Warrington Museum, Warrington. Group show
2016 September Manchester Buy Art Fair 2016
2016 June/July GM Arts Prize, Shortlisted Award 2016, Manchester
2016 March 'All is more is nothing' Solo show, Screaming Gander Contemporary Art, Manchester
2016 February 'Neo Renaissance' Fishslab Gallery, Whitstable. Solo show
2016 January 'Artrooms London 2016, International Art Fair
2015 October 'Romantica' - 40 small paintings, Screaming Gander, Manchester. Solo show
2015 August/Sept 'Making up for lost time', Stockport Museum and Art Gallery, Stockport/ Gtr Manchester. Solo show
2015 July/Sept 'The destruction of anything familiar', Gallery at Bank Quay House, Warrington. Solo show
2015 June 'Pure Painting' Bar Gallery, London, NW2. Group show
2015 May 'The Open West' The Wilson Art Gallery, Cheltenham
2015 May 'The destruction of anything famliar' Screaming Gander, Manchester
2015 March 'New Artist Fair' 2015, Islington London
2014 October 'Six Months On' Solo exhibition, Screaming Gander, Manchester
2014 October Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival, Warrington Musuem
2014 April 'Flabbergasted!' Solo exhibition, Screaming Gander, Manchester
2013 October 'Synthesis' Festival of Art and Science, Manchester
2013 August 'Off Kilter' Group Show, Manchester
2013 July 'Beautiful Things' Group show, Albert Dock, Liverpool
2013 June 'BA Hons Degree Show, Media City, Salford
2013 May '6.3 x 5 (at odds) Joint Show, Piccadilly, Manchester
2012 April ‘New Blood’ Group Show, Manchester
2011 May ‘WFTL' Group Show, Manchester
2010 September GNT Art Exhibition, Solo Show, Manchester
2010 April Centenary Art Show, Group Show, Salford
2008 April Juice Hub Gallery, Solo Show, Bristol
Interview of Ian Rayer-Smith by Oliver Norris at Candid Galleries, London. March 2015
(ON) How long have you been making art?
(IRS) I'm a bit of a late starter really. I was immersed in the rat race for twenty years running my own business. Whilst on holiday in the States in 2006 I saw a painting and decided I needed to paint. I have not stopped, it's taken over my life and now I'm painting full-time. If I could I would probably be in my studio 7 days a week.
(ON) What genre best describes the kind of art which you create and how has it evolved since you began?
(IRS) I suppose I'm a 'Contemporary Figurative Expressionist'. I've always been obsessed with the Abstract Expressionists. As my work has developed I've been searching for new ways to continue this- combined with surrealism, my own experiences, contemporary inspirations and concepts. My work is less literal now, although I like to reveal and suggest things in my paintings with usually one figurative element, I think my paintings have become more surreal. I like to work on very large paintings, yet in the last year I have begun to enjoy a much more intimate scale. I don't like to tell obvious tales with my paintings, I'm more interested creating images that create some sense of mystery.
(ON) You managed to graduate with a First-class honours degree, how did you achieve this and what did it entail?
(IRS) I think when you study later in life you tend to enjoy it more and work a lot harder. I don't think I would have worked quite as hard if I'd had gone to University straight from school. As you get older you have a desire to obtain more knowledge.
(ON) You've shown your work at several exhibitions in Manchester, but our 'Framed Exhibition' will be your first in London, what made you decide to exhibit here?
(IRS) I'm very excited to be showing at this years 'Framed Exhibition' and to be able to have direct access to the public. London is one of the important 'Art Capitals' of the world, it's a great opportunity for an emerging artist like me to gain access to the London market and meet new audiences.
(ON) How do you create paintings and what is your process?
(IRS) I create mountains of sketches, most are discarded but sometimes I latch onto an idea that interests me enough to push forward. I often hide away completed sketch books to then revisit. I find that rediscovering things later can be more interesting and give feel of detachment. I like to combine these ideas with new ones and mix them into the pot.
(ON) Is there a medium or technique that you have yet to try but would like to?
(IRS) I'm obsessed with paint as a medium, but I'm aware of an underlying need in me to work in 3D.
(ON) What would your ideal solo exhibition be like and where would it be held?
(IRS) I'd love a solo show in London one day at a major gallery.
(ON) Do you have a favourite artist or painting?
(IRS) There are many artists and paintings that I admire, both historic and contemporary. If I had to pick one artist, I'd have to say Milton Resnick. His whole attitude to painting fascinates me.
(ON) If you could change anything about the art world, what would it be?
(IRS) That's a big question. All emerging artists want to be a part of it, and we have to find our own way in. It's changing fast and that makes it exciting. I suppose I would ban pointillism.
(ON) What are you planning to exhibit at the New Artist Fair in March 2015?
(IRS) I am bringing to the Fair a wide range of smaller scale framed paintings created in the last 12 months
“Off Kilter” Art Exhibition
8 artists from the North West who have never exhibited together before have been assembled for the first time for a major exhibition of their intensely personal and powerful work, as part of the Manchester Pride Fringe Festival.
This dynamic show, part of Manchester’s rapidly growing and popular Fringe arts and cultural event for the annual August Pride celebrations, is to be found at the very edge of the Village.
The extraordinary diversity of these artists reflects the fact that they do not come from one single group, studio or academic institution. The work they produce is drawn from enormously different backgrounds and life experiences, from which a compelling show emerges.
Carefully curated by artist Ian Rayer-Smith, “Off Kilter” presents a large exhibition of paintings, photography and sculpture. “I wanted to select artists who I did not just admire, but who created work with an underlying sensitivity which would challenge us to ask questions rather than immediately give obvious answers”. Ian explains, “The diversity of these artists’ backgrounds, working processes and approaches to art makes for interesting individual subjects which also make strong connections with each other. I am thrilled to have these artists showing together, and there is certainly something here for everyone”.
The featured artists are Ian Rayer-Smith, Lee Baxter, David Hoyle, Emily Pitts, Darren Nixon, Marcus Wemyss, Mat Cahill and Colin Lloyd.
The range of scale of the works is as dramatic as the subjects they cover, with large expressive paintings juxtaposed with delicately rendered and intimate images and sculpture. This is a must see exhibition.
“Off Kilter” is on at Piccadilly Place, between Canal Street and Piccadilly Station, Manchester. Opens on 23rd August and is on until 30th, with a private view on Thursday 22nd August from 6pm. Please visit http://offkilterartists.wordpress.com/about/ for more information and opening times.
© 2017 Ian Rayer-Smith, Manchester, UK