Friday, November 15, 2013


Most times we get to know about artists a few years after they have left art school. Nowadays it might come a bit earlier as the universities promote their graduate shows and dealers roam the halls looking for fresh faces, but the art school process itself remains mysterious to most of us.

We had a great insight into it one year when we saw the final submission of video maker, sculptor and painter Campbell Patterson. His ‘studio’ was hard to find and all that was on the door once we finally found it was a note telling us to close the door after us. The room was dark apart from six or so monitors (which we later discovered were showing the out takes from the videos Paterson had made while at art school) but there was also something looming up the walls. We turned on the lights. There stacked around the perimeter was everything Patterson had used for the three years he had been at art school and on sheets of paper pinned on the walls what looked like a complete inventory of every item in the room.

There's now another opportunity to take a look into the art school process via Richard Malloy’s fascinating exhibition at Starkwhite in Auckland. Malloy has constructed a series of bays in which he shows work from every year he studied at Elam. It is literally the good, the bad and the ugly. You can see Malloy toying with ideas, reflecting fashionable tropes, experimenting with something and dropping it, and always moving on. It’s a gutsy thing to expose yourself in this way but it makes for very entertaining and insightful viewing. Thanks Richard.