‘Fie, fie upon her! There’s language in her eye, her cheek, her lip, Nay, her foot speaks’
Ulysses in William Shakespeare’s Trolius and Cressida, IV 5.54-57


Cooke Latham Gallery is pleased to announce a group exhibition that visually interrogates gesture; the non-verbal language by which power, religion, sexuality and humour have historically been read. Using the Shakespearian quote from Trolius and Cressida as a point of departure the exhibition investigates how gestures have historically been used artistically (in the quoted instance to pigeonhole a woman as ‘wanton’) to analyse and ‘read’ those around us. As with spoken language, gestures evolve and mutate over time and their subtle politics, without a dictionary counterpart, come to reflect the societal norms and geographic concerns of those that make/ ‘read’ them. The artists included in the exhibition all use gesture as a conceptual tool, either to parody or cast reflection upon the historical lexicon of gesture within their own culture or to create a new, hypothetical, gestural alphabet of their own.