We visited Nick Malone's studio off the back of his most recent solo show in London, catching up with him about his latest artistic escapades. Initially a writer, this British artist eventually turned to painting and mixed media, taking his poetry with him and building up a body of work shaped by an intriguing life of travel. Take a tour of his studio, hear about his upcoming show alongside the Venice Biennale and find out exactly what pursuing creativity means to Nick.
Tell us a little bit about the Venice Biennale related exhibtion you’re due to take part in
I’ve been invited to participate in the Anima Mundi Festival, to be curated in Venice in September by Luca Curci and Andrea Chinellato at the Palazzo Ca’ Zanardi, during the 57th Venice Art Biennale. I’ll almost certainly be sending some work from my recent solo show at Art Bermondsey Project Space, as it was apparently this that particularly triggered their interest.
What was the inspiration behind your most recent Tale of Two Lives solo exhibit?
The Tale of Two Lives explores my own mythologies of dissolution and change through different media and narratives - of how one life force dissolves and reforms itself through different shapes in an eternal dance out of time. Some of the works, such as the Disappearance and Interface paintings, do this through near-abstraction; others, such as the large, three-dimensional works of burnt wood and drawing, engage with this inner mythology through dissolving planes, or, as with the Metamorphosis drawings on canvas, through a hybrid realism. But what begins to pull these together is the broken narrative of The Disappearance of Makepeace - A Tale of Two Lives that gives the exhibition its name, a graphic novel I have just begun, where the interaction of inner and outer worlds are explored with text and paint through soundscape and windows cut into the pages of sketchbooks and journals. The actual process of crossing different art forms and materials in the exploration of the issues I’ve described provides a great deal of the inspiration in itself.
What are you working on at the moment? Has your art taken a new direction lately?
I see the recent solo at Art Bermondsey Project Space as providing a platform on which to build a significant body of new work over the next few years. I’d like to develop the graphic novel as an artist’s book providing a wider context of narrative, adventure and dream, and giving a coherent framework for individual works and constructions emerging from the material in A Tale of Two Lives which can be developed and presented independently over time.
What does being creative mean to you?
It stems partly from a need to find meaning through the development of a certain way of seeing, even though one knows this will always be limited and inadequate.
And alongside this is a constant love of making something out of nothing, exploring the possibilities in materials, and in crossing art forms.
The two fuse together, of course, into a whole way of life.