Jane Rainey: Lunar tides

24 March - 22 April 2022

The Molesworth is delighted to present Jane Rainey’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.

'The sky has no surface and is intangible; the sky cannot be turned into a thing or given a quantity. And landscape painting begins with the problem of painting sky and distance’ - John Berger 

Berger, John. 1972. Ways of Seeing (London, England: BBC Books)


 In Lunar tides, Jane Rainey presents a series of paintings that began with the question of how to paint something transient and intangible? Her pre-occupation is the impermanence, the capriciousness of the natural world: clouds scudding across an expanse of sky or the rising and ebbing of a spring tide. This is not nature as an Arcadian idyll, but rather as a dynamic tableau of transmutation, weightless and formless, shape shifting before our eyes.  

She sees her work as an act of deconstruction, dismantling elements of traditional landscape painting and piecing them back together again with a strange, almost disconcerting palette of colours, allowing new worlds to be revealed and opened up to the viewer. 

The process of making the work takes on a similar dynamic of structured chaos. ‘In my paintings, I am constantly battling between what is controlled and what is accidental,’ she says of her work. ‘I often use accidental elements in painting such as pouring and smearing the paint. I then respond to those marks letting mountains and forms organically grow from them. My hope is that the viewer will get lost in the small islands of abstract marks and shapes as they get up close to explore the work, but also be able to stand back and see the whole image.’


Jane Rainey has shown work across Ireland. Solo shows include 'The Horizon is never still' at the Molesworth Gallery in 2019 and  ‘The Ultimate Fate of the Universe’ at the  Ards Art Centre (2017), while recent group shows include the Hennessy Craig Exhibition in 2022 and  ‘Futures Series 3, Episode One’ at the RHA (2017), and ‘Headless Cities’, TULCA, Galway (2016). Recent awards include a scholarship awarded by NCAD for a Masters in Fine Art (2014), and the John and Rachel Turner Bursary Award, Ulster  University (2014). Rainey was also shortlisted for the 2019 Merrion Plinth Award and 2022 Hennessy Craig Award.

Her work is held in various private and public collections, including the OPW State Art Collection and the Mason, Hayes and Curran corporate collection. She also created a commission for Project Art, Chapter One, Dublin, in 2017.