Once upon a time Edition

Within and Without

GBS Fine Art is pleased to announce the first solo exhi­bi­tion with the artist Gill Roc­ca in our new gallery space over­look­ing Wells Cathedral.

18/03/22 – 28/05/22
Opening Times
Sun–Tue, Closed
Wed–Sat, 11:00 – 18:00
2022 marks twenty-five years since we first started working with Gill, just after she completed her MA, and ten years since her last solo show in the UK. However the real significance of this exhibition should be seen to be where it has brought Gill’s development as an artist and painter.

One of the most distinctive characteristics of Rocca’s practice is her use of birch ply tondos or roundels in her ongoing Figment series. While the philosophical and aesthetic properties of a circle are well established, for Rocca the form accentuates the liminal space between her intentions and what subconsciously emerges during the process of painting. The tondos – and indeed all the paintings – are meticulously layered with thin coats of gesso and sanded back prior to the application of multiple layers of thin oil glazes that slowly and gradually build up the image. For many years, she has deliberately restricted her palette to just 5 colours, including white; all the forms, all the luminosity, dusk, dawn, the trees, headlights, street lamps rendered with extraordinary dexterity from 5 key pigments.

The apotheosis of this approach is the remarkable series of Nocturnes (2022). Almost – but not quite – monochromatic, these seven square panels seem to echo Uccello’s seminal The Hunt in the Forest (circa 1465-70) with all the protagonists summarily removed. It is a bravura piece of painting, eliciting on the one hand those innate subconscious fears of being alone at dusk in the midst of a forest, all birdsong absent, while at the same time celebrating the transient, fragile beauty of a woodland environment in muted tones of grey. For me, it also curiously takes me back all those years to the original grid paintings; almost full circle in fact… So some 25 years on, the work in this exhibition is the fullest expression of what Rocca has been striving for to date and we are proud and grateful to host it.
Once upon a time Edition