Nnena Kalu

Nnena Kalu wraps, binds and collages materials together creating raw and beautiful artworks

Nnena is a prolific and versatile artist using a wide range of materials and techniques. She works in an obsessive and determined way to develop a range of work all with the underlying approach of a systematic layering. In recent sculptural work Nnena indulges her layering techniques, incorporating any material into the process. Combining paper, fabric and foam she creates cocoons by wrapping clusters of material with tape, cling film or wool, she has created a large number of pieces of varying sizes, many of which are still growing as she adds further layers. Her work is constantly evolving, with each piece never really being finished. Nnena has created extensive sculptural pieces and participatory installations at the Southside Shopping Centre for the Wandsworth Arts Festival, Tooting Market, Bermondsey Project Space and Voltaire Open Studios. For each installation she created site specific sculptural work attaching her cocoons to the space and building them up, allowing them to grow into complex structures. Nnena has also developed a vast body of 2d work including painting, drawing and collage. Works of significance include a series of 40 ordnance survey maps developed over a 6 month period in the Action Space Clapham studio in 2013 and 2014. She worked on the maps in pairs, rotating the work to allow layers of paint and ink to dry before applying extra layers and colours. Through creating the map works Nnena developed a new drawing technique. Once she had applied a painted background she worked into the maps creating repeated lines with a circular motion, frequently following the same route to create heavily worked into vortex like shapes and forms, often the line would shift causing a new pattern to emerge. She combined materials including chalk pens, graphite, felt tips and pencils to create dense layers of colour and variation of line. Nnena worked by responding to the rhythm and noise of creating the work, she'd often work with her eyes shut especially whilst drawing, allowing her arm to flow with the line. Nnena has exhibited her map drawings at the SV open and Paris Outsider Art Fair in 2015 Nnena Kalu is a studio artist at ActionSpace www.actionspace.org



emma louvelle

Dear Nnena

Oh my!!! Your work is incredible and speaks volumes to me. Your use of wrapping intrigues me greatly, I am currently going through a sculptural phase where I keep wrapping things up mainly in string or dental floss. I love your instinctual use of colour, how the collision of a few colours can create a world of response within the viewer.

Thank you!!!!!



I really love your work, it is fantastic and so imaginative!

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