Alice von Maltzahn explores the materiality of paper. Large-scale installations alter the spaces they inhabit and appear to grow both naturally and unexpectedly through interior spaces. Drawing inspiration from nature, her intricate, hand-cut paper constructions seek to re-animate the material itself.
Artist Q&A with Alice von Maltzahn
by Dr Claudia Milburn
Q. Tell me more about your subject matter for your work?
A. I gather a lot of inspiration from the natural environment and the materiality of paper itself.
Q. Tell me about the processes involved in making your work.
A. The nature of my work is quite slow, with some pieces taking months to create. I hand-cut every element and make a lot of preparatory sketches so as to feel a sufficient familiarity with the paper and materials I’m working with.
Q. How significant is the element of serendipity in your practice?
A. I think it is significant. It’s sometimes the accidents whilst experimenting with new materials and ways of working that can lead to unexpected and important discoveries.
Q. What is the inspiration behind the specific works in the exhibition and how do they sit within the context of your work to date?
A. As I mentioned, my work is greatly inspired and informed by nature. The works in this show speak to my curiosity for materiality, the cyclical nature of growth, and aim to re-animate the material itself.
Q. What is the most challenging element of your practice?
A. Possibly the length of time some artworks take to make. That said, there’s an appropriateness to my growing an artwork slowly over time which feels is in direct symmetry with the slow growth in nature that some of my work references.