Nathaniel Rackowe’s (b.1979, London) first solo show at Lawrie Shabibi opens on the 12th of January.
Radiant Trajectory, his debut with the gallery, brings together wall-based neon, scaffolding pieces,freestanding sculptures and Bitumen paintings which all share a fascination with the perception of light. “I see the relationship between light and structure to be so important in my work, specifically in relation to urban space.” Rackowe comments. “Dubai is the epitome of a frenetic urban environment, constantly in flux”.
Drawing much inspiration from his home city of London and Dubai, which he has visited periodically since 1999: the artist talks openly about the necessity of experiencing a range of environments and travelling globally. Those first few weeks when everything is alien and you view seemingly insignificant details of the urban fabric with fresh eyes: that is where creativity is born. He takes functional, familiar elements from a modern metropolis – corrugated plastics, concrete, scaffolding, wooden slats, breezeblocks and strip lights, playfully connecting them with steel bolts and bright red wires, embracing the relationship between such raw materials.
Movement and change are crucial elements in his practice, some sculptures are kinetic, others rely on factors changing around them – for example the transition between day and night, when natural light fades and is replaced by artificial lighting, when shadows build up and different elements are illuminated or hidden. He depicts light in all its guises, the full spectrum from cool to warm, mapping its effect on the urban landscape.
Nathaniel Rackowe‘s artworks are a fascinating amalgamation of today’s metropolitan experience evoked through the vicissitudes of light. Using mass-manufactured, derivative products, he manages to create contemporary monuments of stability, permanence and beauty.