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Rokeby's second two person exhibition brings together for the first time work of guest artists Naglaa Walker and Luke Oxley. The artists' backgrounds in commerce, banking and science inform their practice. Both expose the conventions of language, examining how we use language to order the world around us whilst examining how these codes alongside more specialist language and communication systems can also restrict and control understanding.
Working in photography, video and object-based installation, Naglaa Walker is interested in how we negotiate the world around us. Often operating within overdetermined spaces such as science labs and lecture halls the artist reveals the rituals surrounding the spaces. The work On Physics presents photographic diptychs juxtaposing constructed blackboard images of chalked equations with carefully staged photographic images of people engaged in daily activities. A third element - a written physical law - suggests a relationship, inviting the viewer to make connections between the two whilst revealing the inconclusive nature of both human experience and scientific theory.
This is the first time that diptychs from the series On Physics will be shown in London. Exhibited alongside scientific graphs, abstracted charts and constructed photographs of whiteboards laden with obscured equations Walker creates a site specific installation within the gallery. Investigating the language and structures of science the artist allows connections between the intangible and aesthetic to be made.
Luke Oxley captures text from everywhere around him, from graffiti and signs on the street to song lyrics and jargon from the world of business. Taken out of context the words lose their immediate meaning, often recontextualised within capitalist structures such as advertising, Oxley forces the viewer to decipher the codes and conventions set by language, often with amusing consequences. Recently there has been a shift in the language used by the artist in a new series of sign paintings which reconfigure recognizable logos releasing them from their understood association. Likewise aggressive expressions from the abstract terminology of high finance have been chosen alongside graphs representing the tumultuous effects of global events on economics.
Last year Luke Oxley spent time in Shanghai on an Arts Council and British Council residency programme. Much of the new work stems from his investigations into the semiotics of branding. This developed the artist's interest in the assimilation of British and Western patterns of communication into other cultures through sign, image and language. Luke Oxley has exhibited both in the UK and abroad. Current exhibitions include Les Marveilles Du Monde, Museum of Fine Art, Dunkerque, and Infrastructure, Studio Voltaire, London. The artist has also exhibited in Germany, South Korea, Brazil and France.
Naglaa Walker has exhibited both in the UK and internationally. Recent exhibitions include a solo show at hug and 'Made in Britain', Huis Marseille Museum both in Amsterdam; 'Physical Sites' at Londonís Photofusion and 'Bloc' at County Hall Galleries in London. The artist exhibited at AOV Gallery and SF Camerawork in San Francisco the same year as exhibiting in 'Ausländer' at Dahl Gallery of Contemporary Art, Lucerne, Switzerland and Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. In 2003 Naglaa Walker won a Jerwood Photography Award and in October 2004, Walker launched her first solo publication, On Physics, published by Dewi Lewis Publishing.