Mixed media on paper
Twenty-four of Nnena Kalu’s drawings fill the gallery walls from floor to ceiling and make up the immersive installation Infinite Drawing. The selection of works has been co-curated with Charlotte Hollinshead (Associate Artist, ActionSpace) and includes some of the drawings in the pairs in which they were originally produced by Kalu. The resulting exhibition offers visitors an insight into her drawing practice over this past year.
Infinite Drawing highlights the artist’s evolution of forms, lines, and textures over the course of the year, demonstrating the limitless possibilities of her expansive approach to drawing and working with paper. Kalu’s densely layered circular motifs are often likened to vortexes or portals. They appear rhythmic and infinite and embody the performative movement that led to their creation, as well as giving a sense of an expansion beyond their frames.
An intrinsic drive for repetitive mark-making guides the artist’s process for which she uses a large pencil and paint pen to densely build up and layer different colours, lines and marks; repeatedly working the paper’s surface with a circular motion. Kalu’s visually impactful installation is a journey into drawing as a practice; of dense colours and compacted, flowing lines.
For over twenty years, Nnena Kalu has developed her artistic practice at ActionSpace’s studio in Studio Voltaire and she is an important member of both organisations’ artistic communities. Kalu has created a significant body of both monumental sculptural works and drawings in the studio. The drawings are shown publicly for the first time for this year’s festival.
We would like to thank ActionSpace, London’s leading development agency for learning disabled artists for their support on Nnena Kalu’s project.
Nnena Kalu lives and works in London. This exhibition is presented in partnership with ActionSpace, a leading organisation supporting the development of artists with learning disabilities, which has been based at Studio Voltaire since 1999. Kalu is an important member of Studio Voltaire’s artistic community, and her work has previously been exhibited as part of group exhibitions in 2012 and 2015.
Image credit: Nnena Kalu, Infinite Drawing, 2022. Photos by Corey Bartle-Sanderson & Nelta Kasparian.