Giles Rayner has been creating water sculptures since 1998 for both private and public settings, at first around the UK, but now increasingly internationally, with designs located in Europe, the Middle East, the US, and Asia. His focus on the use of water has added an extra dimension to his wide and varied portfolio.

Though other materials feature, he specialises in using copper, stainless steel, and bronze, often at a significant scale, to create imaginative and highly individual designs, which combine energy and intrigue with simple aesthetic beauty. The use of moving water in so many of his concepts empowers each design with real life to capture the senses, either in dramatic or conversely more peaceful fashion. All work is underscored by a desire to fit timelessly with the surrounding landscape and architecture.

In technical terms, the designs combine old skills and new innovative thinking, producing sometimes challenging ‘organic’ patterns of energy, or precise and innovative pieces of work that, until recently, would not have been possible. These artworks are designed to stand the test of time in both aesthetic and physical terms. They can be found around the world set with a host of different backdrops, ranging from rural historical gardens, through to modern city landscapes, and from dramatic mountainous scenery to cutting-edge interior design.

Most sculptures are individual commissions, but limited editions or variations on some of the existing designs can be made. Giles is passionate about creating designs that are integral to their setting and travels both nationally and internationally in order to install pieces and to study sites for new concepts.

About

About

Giles Rayner has been creating water sculptures since 1998 for both private and public settings, at first around the UK, but now increasingly internationally, with designs located in Europe, the Middle East, the US, and Asia. His focus on the use of water has added an extra dimension to his wide and varied portfolio.

Though other materials feature, he specialises in using copper, stainless steel, and bronze, often at a significant scale, to create imaginative and highly individual designs, which combine energy and intrigue with simple aesthetic beauty. The use of moving water in so many of his concepts empowers each design with real life to capture the senses, either in dramatic or conversely more peaceful fashion. All work is underscored by a desire to fit timelessly with the surrounding landscape and architecture.

In technical terms, the designs combine old skills and new innovative thinking, producing sometimes challenging ‘organic’ patterns of energy, or precise and innovative pieces of work that, until recently, would not have been possible. These artworks are designed to stand the test of time in both aesthetic and physical terms. They can be found around the world set with a host of different backdrops, ranging from rural historical gardens, through to modern city landscapes, and from dramatic mountainous scenery to cutting-edge interior design.

Most sculptures are individual commissions, but limited editions or variations on some of the existing designs can be made. Giles is passionate about creating designs that are integral to their setting and travels both nationally and internationally in order to install pieces and to study sites for new concepts.

1998

City and Guilds, Foundation art course in London.

1999-2002

BA Hons Fine Art - Sculpture, Kingston.

Education

Education

Whilst exploring the many aspects of Oman, Giles was struck by how well the modern architecture fits in harmony with the more traditional past. The people are so noble and welcoming and they embrace you with their enduring culture. This is a captivating place of clean imaginative style, enchanting history and warm dignity, all set in a backdrop of a stunning landscape.

Giles found himself particularly inspired by two new buildings, the magnificent Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and the majestic Royal Opera House. The design of Arches is Giles’ aim to extend this beauty to the location in the gardens, retaining the qualities of simplicity and elegance of the Royal Opera House, but at the same time providing a significant stand-alone feature.

Water and sculpture complement each other, and when combined with strong sunlight the result is sensational. Sunlight, so often lacking in the northern climates, is an ingredient for which an artist yearns, especially when working with materials such as stainless steel. The Sultanate of Oman has these qualities in abundance so Giles was delighted by the possibility, as an artist, of creating a water sculpture in this beautiful country.

Early Career

Early Career

Understanding the landscape and external environment is fundamental to Giles’ design philosophy. His resulting sculptures are created to enhance the landscape without dominating, complementing whilst enriching. Giles has always maintained a string passion for the outdoors and for natural beauty and these influences can be seen in his work.

Giles Rayner’s water sculptures always have a sense of place, they are designed to integrate into the locations in which they’re situated. The Arches of Oman project is no different. It is situated perfectly in 5 acres of purposefully landscaped gardens, directly outside the stunning Royal Opera House Muscat as determined by the Omani Commission. The sculpture’s position is specifically to be enjoyed from the balcony of the Opera House.

The Arches sculpture project is scheduled to be complete late summer 2017 and can already be viewed by hundreds of thousands of people who are passing through the main city along Sultan Qaboos Highway or 18 November Street.

1999

First small scale water sculpture sold.

2000

First display piece (the rotating Nebula V1) as shown on Channel 4 opening night at Chelsea Flower show.

2001

First large commission with ‘Vesuvius’ Stainless steel garden arches built for garden designer Penelope Hobhouse’s own home, as featured in her biography.

2002

Designs including the 18ft ‘Twister’ (V1) at East Ruston Old Vicarage. First export to New York - private collector. Named Vortex. Graduation from Kingston summer 2002, start of work until end of 2003 at workshop in Greenford.

2003

‘Golden Spiral’ design exhibited in Xa Tollemache’s Chelsea Show Garden. Installation of the first incarnation of ‘Topiary’ at Castle Hill, Devon. Giles appears as the ‘Next Big Thing’ in Sunday Times Magazine.

2004

Two major Sculptures (‘Singing Tree’ and ‘Giant Spiral’) installed at Lakeside Shopping Centre, Thurrock. ‘Grail’ installed at Kirtling Hall

2005

Article in Country Life. ‘Twiggy’ installed at Canonteign, Devon. First incarnation of ‘Charybdis’ unveiled in Windsor Great Park

Exhibitions & Press

Exhibitions & Press

Water is at the heart of Giles’ sculptures. He harnesses its energy, beauty an intrigue and uses it to empower his sculptures. Giles deploys a number of ways to divine its potential, through converging jets, powerful vortices, surface tension, kinetics and natural gravity.

To introduce movement, Giles designed the sculpture to provide the viewer with a different pattern of arches from every direction. He was also inspired by the music played within the Royal Opera House - music produced by many-stringed instruments. The jets of sparkling water which join, like a herringbone, in a crescendo cascade at the centre, may be interpreted as the melding of the stringed instruments into one glorious melody. The water effects are symbolic of these musical instruments and further highlight the homage which the sculpture owes to the Royal Opera House Muscat.

Many settings involve a backdrop of distinctive architecture, modern and traditional. Sensitivity is required not only to design a sculpture that will fit into the space as a permanent addition, but that must also stand the test of time. Defining the correct scale of the piece is important so that the final design is neither over-domineering nor lost within its setting.

Water Sculptures of Note

Water Sculptures of Note

Art meets Maths – many of Giles’ designs require mathematical precision for both the sculpture and water flow, enhancing the aesthetics and creating a wonderful energy. The geometric form that encompasses much of Giles’ works has its roots in both nature and architecture.

Engineering and Materials – The Arches of Oman currently is the largest sculpture designed by Giles so far. This 12m / 40ft water arch has a complexity and scale which is matched by the engineering skills and technology needed to realise such a large project. Weighing 15 tons, it has required Giles to have a team of people supporting him, including experts in 3D modelling, structural engineering and state-of-the-art metal fabricators.

The sculpture requires great strength and long-term durability, hence the grade of stainless steel known as ‘duplex’ is used. This material not only yields incredible structural integrity and hardness, but also the greatest resistance to any corrosion by salt and sandstorms.

2006

The complex and somewhat ambitious ‘Coriolis’ installed at Elton Hall. First ‘Pagoda’ design unveiled at Chelsea Flower Show.

2007

The mirrored Stainless Steel ‘Serpents’, which were later to influence the design of ‘Arches’, created for Corsock House in Scotland. New 6ft diameter ‘Whirlpool’ created, to influence future designs.

2008

The 30ft/9m ‘Blade’ installed in Ireland. Recession hits most projects.

2010

Depth of recession. Designs include 4th incarnation of Nebula and the unusual Phoenix.

2011

‘Tectonic’ design shown at Chelsea Flower Show, featured in television interview of artist.

2012

Giles arrives in Muscat to view site near Royal Opera House and conceives the design of Arches. New incarnation of Charybdis.

2013

Large 8ft version of Charybdis created.

2014

Rotating 2.6m diameter ‘Neptune’ design unveiled at Burton Agnes Hall, Yorkshire. Giles creates first solo stand at Chelsea Flower Show.

2015

‘Aspiration’ Sculpture installed at Wesleyan University in Illinois, USA. ‘Whirlpool’ designs of 3 different forms installed in Long Island NY, Thailand and Sri Lanka. Second Incarnation of Twister created

2016

Construction of Arches begun. 8ft Bronze ‘Whirlpool’ design installed in Helsingborg, Sweden. ‘Fibonacci Bowl’ design featured in Nick Bailey’s ‘Winton Beauty of Mathematics’ Chelsea Flower Show Show Garden. At same time Giles exhibits 3 designs in groundbreaking new solo stand design at Chelsea FS.

Arches Oman & Recent Work

Arches Oman & Recent Work

An interview with Giles Rayner and Julian Glyn-Owen filmed during the installation phase of the Arches of Oman commission. Here they discuss the inspiration for the magnificent water sculpture located in the gardens of the Royal Opera House Muscat and the issues they are tackling in developing a sculpture on this scale and installing it in its final location.

2017

Installation of the 40ft/9m ‘Arches’ in Muscat, Oman, largest project to date. Other works created during the year, but by far the dominant feature of the period.

2018

‘Zest’ design featured in the ‘Silent Pool’ Show Garden at Chelsea Flower Show to much press coverage. New ‘Spire’ concept under development.