Gilder Alice Cescatti’s silver leaf paintings feature in Whitchurch exhibition

A NEW exhibition has opened at Whitchurch-on-Thames Modern Artists Gallery, featuring paintings by Alice Cescatti and Benjamin Cockett. Once again, director Peggy Brodie’s eye for exciting contemporary work provided a visual treat for the holiday season.

It’s always a pleasure to see Alice Cescatti’s latest work. Alice grew up and studied fine art in New Zealand. She moved to London to study interior design, as well as a four-year apprenticeship in restoration of gilded and painted furniture, and became a much sought-after freelance gilder in Europe.

Her unique technique involves a rarely seen water-gilding process with which she has mastered different ways of describing light.

Alice Cescatti, homeland of the brave land of crows. 100x100cm, acid etched silver leaf panel

It is more complex than oil gilding, involving the formation of many layers of sanded gesso and clay on wood panels. This is followed by sheets of silver or gold floating on the surface of the clay using a specialized method dating back to the paintings and reliefs of Egyptian tombs of the 23rd century BC, some of the earliest evidence of gold being beaten. in sheets. The surface of the gold or silver leaf is then hand polished with an agate stone to improve the quality of the metal as a source of light.

Alice Cescatti’s acid-etched silver leaf paintings can be seen at the Modern Artists Gallery alongside works by Benjamin Cockett, who studied at Slade and Camberwell Art Schools and in Germany.

Ben says: “I consider myself a modern painter, using the technological advances of my time to create an entirely organic painting, reviving the romantic tradition. I want to paint in light, color and texture, through translucency, through the matrix that reflects our time; both fragmented and multidimensional.

Benjamin Cockett Hades Flotilla
Benjamin Cockett Hades Flotilla

The space is also shared by the work of two sculptors – Sasha Constable, daughter of renowned artist Richard Constable and great-great-granddaughter of landscape designer John Constable, and Wendy Freestone, a new gallery artist, who participated in the Royal Arts Prize. laureate with Alice Cescatti in 2018 and works from her studio in Oxfordshire, where she specializes in figurative bronze sculpture.

Sacha began sculpting the new series of sculptures that form the heart of this exhibition in mid-March. “Containment is looming. I wanted to translate all the feelings that the emerging pandemic was causing in a more physical and visual form. The work is mainly figurative, even pursuing different themes or abstractions, the sculptures are imbued with connotations of a figurative element.

His sculpture combines body fragments with simple architectural elements.

Sacha Constable 'Goose laying a golden egg', bronze 15x20x10cm
Sacha Constable ‘Goose laying a golden egg’, bronze 15x20x10cm

The exhibition continues until January 31.

The Modern Artists Gallery is located in Whitchurch on Thames High Street on the B471.

Wendy freestone
Wendy freestone

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