Nadia Cascini’s ethereal oil paintings fuse the abstract and the figurative with just a touch of magic. Constructing luminous landscapes from overlapping individual shapes and thin layers of paint, she transports her audience to a spellbinding version of her homeland of Italy and beyond to some of her favourite European locations. By capturing physical features and expressive associations, she creates work which is both grounded in reality and richly imaginative. Refined, elaborate and emotional, Cascini’s paintings appear to radiate light, using it to express the energy and warmth within the scene. Each one is illuminated from the centre, but the light then fades as it moves away and softens towards the edges of the canvas. “The light” she says “comes in many forms; shattered or nuanced, violent or sweet. Inside each shape is a multitude of overlapping and fragmented colours and the more they take over, the more the form crumbles and fades and I feel my painting rise. The structure, which has been hidden between light and shadow, gradually reveals itself.”
Cascini was born in Arezzo in Tuscany in 1970, the daughter of two master goldsmiths. It was the glow and reflective gleam of metal that first sparked her interest in the effects of light - first on an object but later, when she went on to study art, on a landscape. In the late 1980s, she began to attract attention by winning a series of local and then national prizes for her paintings; mentored by art critic and artist Umberto Zaccaria she flourished, and her work began to reach a wider audience, first in galleries and then with collectors, including many public figures from Italian political life.