Brand new, exclusive to Look Up, and bursting with colour. Two new silkscreen editions by Nounua, exploring the creative potential of limitations…

Combining only two shapes and three colours to great effect, Division and Inside Out are the newest editions created for Look Up by Nounua – aka Gráinne Nagle, a visual artist and designer based in Cork. If you follow Nounua on Instagram, you'll be familiar (and no doubt smitten) with the playful, inventive spirit and vibrant colours at the core of her creative practice. If you don't follow her on Instagram, skip to it! You won't be disappointed. In the meantime, we're a bit excited about her new editions…

'Division' and 'Inside Out' / 3-colour silkscreen prints by Nounua

Division and Inside Out explore Nounua's fascination with colour and layering, but they're also the result of an ongoing experiment. Recently, she's taken to working with clear constraints – limiting herself to a particular paper size, two shapes and only three colours. Transparent inks open up even more possibilities. "I was interested in creating an additional colour with the overlays. It's more apparent with Inside Out, where the overlays create a distinctly different colour."

'Inside Out' by Nouna / 3-colour silkscreen print, edition of 5 (25cm x 38cm)

The simplicity of the shapes and their minimal deployment emphasise Nounua's strengths as a colourist, but they also indicate an intuitive understanding of composition. "I was trying to work within the constraints of the paper size, creating compositions in which the circle functions like an axis from which to position the rectangles." As the title suggests, the shifting volumes of Division suggest movement – a separation or drifting apart, while Inside Out has a compact uniformity – an inner strength that seems to glow. 


'Division' by Nounua / 3–colour silkscreen print, edition of 5 (25cm x 38cm)

Each print is a fine example of how geometric abstraction can be an effective conduit for exploring notions of harmony or tension – the relationships between opposing and/or complementary forms. It's a theme that Nounua has been experimenting with on Instagram, positioning pairs of the same print side by side in different configurations. These playful images are further evidence of her desire to keep trying new things, exploring the creative potential of an artwork long after its supposed completion.   

Playing with the possibilities of composition

These new, gem-like editions are the bi-product of an experiment in minimalism, but the great thing about this particular branch of minimalism is its dedication to unlocking, and celebrating, the power of colour. Nounua's editions have a graphic punch, but up close and personal there's also a subtlety. This is particularly apparent in the overlays, which create new colours while simultaneously recalling the screenprinting process – there's a light texture, a ghost of the ink's former life as a viscous, tacky substance. It's an alchemy of sorts, and the results are more than worth their weight in gold…


Detail of 'Division' by Nounua

If you live in London and you'd like to see Nounua's prints in the flesh before purchasing, please drop us a line and we'll arrange a visit to our HQ in London E17.