What propels my work is a fascination with the everyday workings of human nature. I am drawn to the interplay between the alternately humorous and dark corners of human experience, the uncertain places where the logical and the inexplicable tease each other or the borders between fact and fiction blur. I am interested in how personal and social perspectives color our perceptions, helping to construct our individual realities and imprinting the psychological quirks that lurk within our minds. My work investigates the challenges we face in our relationships to one another, our efforts to negotiate with nature through science and technology, and our attempts set up systems to navigate life in this world.
My mixed media constructions are often built around photographic imagery and take on a wide variety of formats, often sculptural. I freely use any type of photographic process that serves my purpose for each piece, including my own traditional black and white photographs, tintypes, daguerreotypes, alternative process, or digital images, as well as found photographs, negatives, and even x-rays. I frequently alter or physically manipulate the images through transfers, painting, peeling, cutting, embedding in wax, etc. My use of other materials (both cast-off and new) is extremely diverse, including wood, metal, lenses, paper, beeswax, and a vast array of objects. The images are integrated into some combination of these materials, a process that culminates in the formulation of singular, hybrid image-objects.
Beverly Rayner was born and raised in Deep River, Connecticut, USA. At an early age Beverly fell in love with odd objects with mysterious histories that she found while exploring barns and junk shops. Beverly’s first mentors were her parents, whose creative thinking and positive approach to life helped their children to notice the beauty and possibilities in everyday things all around them. They encouraged Beverly’s unusual interests, unwittingly starting her off on her journey down the wayward path of the artist. Their influence can be seen in her work. Beverly’s father is a master of “making something out of nothing,” and, with his skill and loving attention to detail, instilled in Beverly the idea of resurrecting castoffs. She loved the tools and hardware in his workshop. She is now a tool and hardware junkie. Her mother was very artistic young woman who had to abandon her artwork when she started creating multiple children. She was, however, able to find great satisfaction in documenting her family in countless photographs. Beverly was always fascinated by the cameras, and her parents handed down their old Brownie and Polaroid(!) to her. She started taking pictures obsessively when she was around 11. Her passion for photography eventually merged with her love of building things, and she has now spent more than 30 years making eclectic mixed media photographic art objects.
Rayner has a BFA in sculpture and an MFA in photography from San Jose State University. Her work has been shown extensively, including the Otaru Municipal Art Museum in Otaru, Japan, the Fine Arts Museum of Houston, Texas, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum in Roanoke, Virginia, the Crocker Museum, The San Jose Museum of Art, and the Monterey Museum of Art. Her work is in the collections of Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Oakland Museum of California, the Crocker Museum, the San Jose Museum of Art, and the Berkeley Art Museum, as well as in many other prominent public and private collections. She is currently represented by G. Gibson Gallery in Seattle, and was with Braunstein/Quay Gallery in San Francisco for 20 years. She was a 2007 recipient of the Rydell Visual Arts Fellowhip and the 2012 Artist in Residence at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA. Rayner teaches a variety of classes and workshops in mixed media art, photography, and sculpture. She is currently teaching at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, and serves as Curator/Director of the Cabrillo Gallery. She lives with her equallly artistically-obsessed husband in Santa Cruz, California.