Talking Points: Nnena Kalu

A collection of imagery and sources designed to introduce students to artist, Nnena Kalu.

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Nnena Kalu

Nnena is a practising artist at ActionSpace, a visual arts organisation that supports artists with learning disibilities.

‘Over the last two decades, Nnena Kalu has created a large body of sculptural and two-dimensional work and developed a live, performative element to her art practice, creating site-specific installations.

Nnena’s sculptural installations begin with compact ‘cocoons’ of textiles and paper tightly packed in colourful cellophane. Repeated forms then build with extensive binding and wrapping with layers of paper, tape and lines of unspooled VHS tapes. When exhibited these sculptural forms are created live in- situ, being made and remade throughout live installs.

Nnena’s two-dimensional works are sculptural explorations of space dictated by the length and reach of Nnena’s arms, as well as the size of the paper. In the making of these works, which are often produced in pairs, the second an echo of the first, a rhythm is built up and multiple layers constructed. As with Nnena’s sculptural works, the drawings are an exploration of continuous line, shifting and ever-evolving forms.’-  ActionSpace

Questions to Ask Students

Describe Nnena’s sculptural process.

When you look at Nnena’s drawings, what can you see? How does the rhythm and pace of the drawing effect the lines?

What do you like about Nnena’s sculptures / drawings?

If you were watching Nnena create a live installation, what kind of sounds might you hear?

Imagine you are interacting with the sculptures, what do you think the sculptures would feel like texturally?

How does Nnena’s work make you feel?

Do Nnena’s sculptures remind you of anything?

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