I am interested in the tiny threads that make up a good story, when the division made between fact and fiction is no longer the issue. My work is directly influenced by the place, the context, and the community in which it is displayed. Site-specific and predominantly temporal, my process consists largely of being present in an environment, researching the history of the area, and responding to the inherent rhythm emitted by the place. I see my work as an extension of the language of painting, often presented in the form of installation combining but not limited to, painting, drawing, video, animation, performance, book making, and poetry. Working in direct response to new environments/communities pushes my practice towards new materials and new media. Subtexts to the work are the marginalization of nature and the grotesque, feminism, animism, and news headlines in which a collage of influences forms a storyline of layered production.
Raised in the deep South, Raina’s experience with the living past through storytelling and reenactment is extensive. Whether it is through painting, installation, video, performance, creative writing, sound, or collaborative projects, her work investigates narrative through a poet’s lens. Raina Benoit received her BA from Louisiana State University in Liberal Arts and minored in Creative Writing (1999). After living and working in New York City she continued her studies in France at the Atelier des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris (2001) where she studied in painting, drawing, and French. She completed her MFA (2006) at the University of Arizona and for close to a decade has lived and researched along the South’s coastline. Selected exhibitions and performances include Mass Moca (North Adams, MA), 1134 Gallery (New York, NY), Ad Hoc Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), Platform Gallery (Tucson, AZ), Deland Museum of Art (Deland, FL), 911 Media Art Center (Seattle, Washington), The Morean Art Center, C. Emerson Art Gallery (St.Petersburg, Fl), The Candle Factory (New Orleans, La), and various other international and national entities.