Richard Maloy | Maternal Routine
03.06.21 - 19.06.21
Starkwhite presents a new photographic work by Richard Maloy. Maloy’s practice is attuned to the politics of space and time and explores process and production within the creative process. He works across a range of disciplines including sculpture, photography and video. Material Routine (2019–2020) was developed when Maloy was the Martin Tate Wallace Trust Artist in Residence in Vladivostok, Russia. The work is a series of individual photographs that show the artist’s material process in flux: recording his artistic process and daily studio routine.
The photographs that make up Material Routine are an ode to the cyclical rhythms and daily practices that recurred in Maloy’s studio during his time in Russia. Spread across 63 photographs we begin to get an idea of his routine and the familiar rhythm of shaping, altering, building, and cutting the clay as Maloy created or dissolved form. Material Routine captures a series of transient forms, each image a meditative and intimate portrait of a moment in time during the artistic process. As a series of images it highlights that a daily studio practice is as much about paying attention to decisions within an artistic practice as it is about getting something done. This is characteristic of Maloy’s practice which seeks to expose the artist’s material processes of making, bringing states and procedures usually restricted to the studio into the gallery.
Maloy’s practice asks us to consider what we pay attention to and why. The art world often fetishises product – the finished, resolved, and shiny ‘product’ – the thing that emerges at the end of a line of complex thinking and making. It is a laborious process making art, and in most cases we don’t value or spend enough time thinking about process, intuition, and the unique series of investigations (and occasionally dead-ends) an artist goes through to create their work. We thirst for product, the glossy end result, but ignore the journey or adventure the work has taken to get there. Richard Maloy’s practice turns this on its head, his process is quite literally hiding in plain sight. In Maloy’s work we see that method and meaning can mutually enable each other. His practice documents and preserves the moments during which his ephemeral and shape-shifting art works exist in flux, their forms melding and dispersing in front of our eyes. These restless shapes are caught by the artist deciding to capture a moment, to freeze a phase or state in the forever-shifting dynamics of time and process. Earlier photographic and video projects saw Maloy modelling clay and even butter, these malleable sticky surfaces becoming increasingly amorphous as they yielded to the artist’s hand and the warmth of his body. This is a practice driven by an awareness of instability and flux – forms are temporary but the practice endures.