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Hand Gestures

Francesco Clerici

We are excited to welcome director Francesco Clerici to DCA on Mon 30 November (19:00) when he will introduce his new film and answers your questions during a special post-screening Q&A.

Following the creation of artist Velasco Vitali’s famous dog sculptures, from wax to glazed bronze at the Battaglia Artistic Foundry in Milan, Hand Gestures is an astonishingly beautiful documentary about makers and making.

"An astonishingly beautiful documentary about makers and making."

Over the centuries many technological innovations have come about in art, yet, even today, in order to create a sculpture in bronze, it is necessary to take the same steps as were followed thousands of years ago. These steps are not taught in school, but are passed on in the ancient oral tradition and through apprenticeships from artisans. This documentary observes and feels the work of the foundry: a place where the past and present share the same gestures. Hand Gestures is a meditation on the tradition of craft, care and artistry still very much alive today.

Mixing archive footage and interviews, the film takes us behind the scenes at every step of the process, viewing the work of a group of skilled artisans at the 100-year old foundry, and revealing the ancient traditions of bronze sculpture which remain unchanged since the 6th century.