Drawing upon her love of the camera, and the relationship between the camera and the model, Nuala Mulligan creates bold screen prints of strong, beautiful women. Nuala has always been fascinated by the power of storytelling and in term, the necessity to visualise, creating powerful use of the imagination. Nuala has always been drawn to the female protagonist. Strong and conquering, these powerful qualities surfacing into form, into beauty, into heroines.
For her first collection in the UK, Nuala uses block colour to portray iconic figures (Marilyn Monroe, Twiggy and Audrey Hepburn) in a new light.
Nuala is particularly inspired by the way that materials can be manipulated in order to strengthen an image. Screen printing, she says “is what you can hide in the dark and bring out in the light. It’s layering colour upon itself, creating solid feel. Nuala loves being in the workshop: putting on her overalls; getting her materials out; using pressure; pushing and pulling to create a piece of work.
First, she chooses the image she would like to work with. Then, it’s deciding which part of the image is going to be played with, which subtle variation of colour will be applied and, when working with multiple images, which colours will complement one another. Once printed, the colour is layered and, finally, a black gloss screen is applied. Nuala confesses. “You need to ensure your focus stays sharp, the work takes on its own life force, you can guide it and it can guide you.”
Nuala is poetic in the way that she talks about her work. She has a real passion for her tools, from the initial capturing of her subject through to the final artwork. “I am captivated by the beauty that comes from within. Strong inner beauty forces its way out, surfacing into light, reflecting. It is the beauty in the strength of confidence that a model exudes when in front of the camera. The dance begins between photographer, camera and the model.”
Nuala’s understanding of art as a “constant commentary of the ideas within displayed without, lending itself to everyone and everything” is a driving force behind her screen prints – one that connects with her audience on a wider level.