I was first introduced to Alice by a mutual friend as someone I needed to meet, as she was "another woman who is into paper and sustainability" I had already come across her wonderful and intricate art before and I was very keen to have a peek inside her studio to see her process.
A fascination with paper, its materiality, sustainability and how different papers absorb marks, line, and other materials is core to her practice. There is also a noticeable time element, in that her drawings and cut works are both laborious and sometimes physically demanding, taking up to a year to produce.
Story Photographed by Ollie Trenchard
Alice von Maltzahn’s work is an examination of the structures that surround us. Her pieces reveal layers of city that have come before, bearing witness to the kinds of growth that make it up. We are presented with unearthed strata of information and experience, reminding us of our own existence as breathing beings in an evolving city.
von Maltzahn is simultaneously concerned with narrative construction, and deconstructing the fixed templates through which we see the world. Each piece poses a question as to how we consume our environment. While some are small – the dimensions of an iPhone – others loom large and threaten to engulf the viewer. She is as interested in the necessity of this template as in what is hides. There is no sense of something being ripped away from us. Instead, she peels things back, layer by layer, until we are left with something that feels like clarity. Through paper, through ink, through graphite and gold, von Maltzahn constructs pathways between structures that are built - that require further building if they are to grow - and those that will forge their own way. With no human impact, nature will win.