Writing -  CV

On Surface Shape for Dianna Witte Gallery 

written by Tadum Dooley

Leah Rainey’s Paintings are visual manifestations of our peripheral vision, like stills of something you see out of the corner of your eye. 

The balance between space and information are imprints of what we unconsciously register. In other words, Rainey captures the uncapturable, translating it into abstract shapes and surfaces that hint at its original source material.

In this recent body of work, Rainey makes paintings of paintings, creating meta-images based in and of paint, rather than reality. Her paintings are made up of fragments of various paintings, reminding me of a shattered mirror: each piece reflects a different surface, while the canvas itself is its own surface. Just like a mirror, Rainey’s paintings reflects its source material. By referencing small scraps, discarded cast offs of old paintings, and trying to recreate their texture and shape on a larger scale, Rainey distances the final product from the original source, culminating in a faint memory of its origin.

The process-based methods of Rainey’s paintings coalesce in multiple surfaces within one canvas, switching between direct painting to distressed surfaces with ease. The colour within the works are highly saturated, built up through multiple layers, and yet Rainey’s relationship with those colours remains restrained. This communication between limited palettes and nuanced surfaces balance the paintings and creates a sense of harmony. 

Each painting in Surface Shape can be viewed individually, but the repetition of forms throughout the series accumulates into something bigger. A thread weaves throughout the series—visual clues repeat throughout the canvasses—connecting the paintings. A visual language emerges. The act of decoding each surface, Rainey’s visual language, and processing a context you don't quite understand, becomes an integral part of the work. 

Rainey’s paintings translate the movement of life, and that which is left behind, into a single image; like the out-takes of a silent film contained within a single canvas


Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, UK. BA Hons Fine Art 


2020, Circuits (solo) Mark Christopher Gallery (courtesy of Dianna Witte Gallery) Toronto

2019 Surface Shape, (solo) Dianna Witte Gallery Toronto 

2019 Winter Show (group) Dianna Witte Gallery Toronto

2019 Okay, Where's The Cake! (group) Wabling Collective, London UK

2018 Winter Show, Parts Gallery, Toronto

2017 Winter Show, Parts Gallery, Toronto

2016  Europa, Transition Gallery, London, UK

2015 Thames Art Gallery Juried Exhibition, Chatham    Curated by Sky Glabush

2014 Insomnia, Red Head Gallery, Toronto

2013 More Than Two (Let It Make Itself), Curated by Micah Lexier, The Power Plant, Toronto

2013 Ur, Curated by Katherine Tulloh, Transition Gallery, London UK

2012 Templates (Solo), ATTI Gallery, Toronto

2012 Group Show, ATTI Gallery, Toronto

2011 Edits (Solo), Communication Gallery, Toronto

2011 Gallery Retrospective Group Show, Communication Gallery, Toronto

Public Collections:

Christ College, Cambridge, UK

Sheffield City Council


Short Film- How To Keep Your Day Job, Director Sean Frewer, 2012 

Creating Our Families, Director Pam Baer, To be released.  

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