Raine’s family managed to take a road trip to the Coromandel last year, a welcome escape after lockdown. Lord Huron had just released their fourth studio album, Long Lost. It was the perfect soundtrack for a first family vacation. The poetic lyricism marked the beauty of the coast and the tranquility of the landscape. It also served as a happy escapism on their return to the city just before lockdown set in again, listening to it at home was a reminder of the ‘getaway’.
Music has always been an integral part of Toby Raine’s studio practice, often informing his subject matter. With this body of work, he borrows from surreal and melancholic cadences, to consider the softer aspects of the characters that he often paints. Peaceful introspective protagonists, in meadows and natural environment with their pets, and thoughts, in private moments of reflection, gratitude and unbridled freedom:
Send me to the mountains
Let me go free forever (ever)
I’ll be running through the forest
Dancing in the fields like this forever (ever)
Inspired by the hangover of academia and then spurred on methodically by music, New Zealand-based Toby Raine has emerged as a leading figure in the contemporary New Zealand art-scape for his heavily impasto and gestural portraits. Raine completed his Doctorate of Fine Arts at Elam School of Fine Arts. In Australia, represented by James Makin Gallery, the artist has quickly gained a strong collectorship, with a sell-out Australian debut solo exhibition, Hair of the Dog. Raine is a regular finalist in the Wallace Art Awards and the Molly Morpeth Canaday Award.