508 Kings Road
21st September to 5th October 2019
The 508 Gallery proudly presents an exciting exhibition with resident artist Alice Cescatti, showcasing a selection of her extraordinarily beautiful paintings.
New Zealand artist Alice Cescatti is fascinated by the dramatic landscapes and the intense light of the South Pacific, appreciating the remoteness of the land she was born in and its quality of uninterrupted and uninhabited space. As well as being influence by her heritage, Alice instinctively gravitated towards locations that combine a sense of wilderness with intense light and colour, such as coastal areas around Southern England and Norfolk. She has also found inspiration in the landscapes of Flanders and the South
Alice studied in New Zealand under the tutorship of renowned artists such as Doris Lusk, Glenn Bush and Quentin McFarlane and subsequently settled in London. She then devoted several years to teaching painting and gilding techniques in Vietnam for a prestigious international furniture company while working as a freelance gilder in Europe.
Her unique technique involves a rarely seen water-gilding process with which Alice has mastered different ways of describing light. Water-gilding is more complex than oil gilding, building up many layers of sanded gesso and clay on wooden panels. This is followed by floating individual silver or gold leaves onto the clay surface using a specialist method dating back to Egyptian tomb paintings and reliefs from the 23rd century BC, some of the earliest evidence of gold being beaten into leaf. The gold or silver leaf surface is then hand-burnished with an agate stone to enhance the quality of metal as a light source.
The symbolism of Alice’s works, often depicting small boats and buildings or icons such as Tibetan prayer flags within huge skies and deserted landscapes, touches us with the feeling that nature is not overwhelming but that we all coexist in wholeness, whatever the scale. Collectors have a unique connection and passion for work, its ethereal quality resonates so deeply. Alice’s personal vision of the inherent harmony of humanity’s relationship with nature, despite all its dilemmas and pitfalls, has always fascinated her and is conveyed through her incisive imagination.