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Cuci e Scuci

A term used by builders across Italy, cuci e scuci refers to the superficial repair of degraded brickwork by infilling with the same materials. The wall appears to be restored, without real structural repair taking place. The equivalent English expression might be to ‘patch it up’ or ‘make good’. It’s used extensively in Venice. Due to the saline atmosphere, huge patches of render regularly fall from the exteriors of old housing stock and bricks absorb briny water from the canals, then explode or crumble as the salt crystalises within them. This series, of small (20cm x 20cm) abstract works, was created with this technique in mind; the surface of the painting being artificially degraded or semi-destroyed, then infilled with little thought given to aesthetics, except perhaps in the choice of Venetian ochres and reds that regularly sit together on the facades of this fabulous city.