Nicola Ellis
Nicola Ellis and Ritherdon & Co Ltd: No gaps in the line

Nicola Ellis and Ritherdon & Co Ltd: No gaps in the line exhibition.<br/>Castlefield Gallery 13 June 2021 — 1 August 2021. <br/> <br/> I was introduced to Ritherdon & Co Ltd (est. 1895) by The National Festival of Making’s Art in Manufacturing programme in 2018. Following that I has spent a further two years as artist in placement at this family-run manufacturer of specialist steel enclosures based in Darwen, Lancashire. During this two- year placement I worked closely with experienced members of the Ritherdon team; observing, participating in, and at times, disrupting the ecosystem of the factory. <br/><br/> https://www.castlefieldgallery.co.uk/event/nicola-ellis-solo-exhibition-coming-in-2021/S.A.M.S.P.S.E (Semi-automatic machine self-portrait: Sculpture edition). <br/> 2021. Steel and powder coating 5000mm x 5000mm x 1000mm. <br/> Made By: Mark Blease, Matthew Bradley, Andy Bradshaw, Nicola Ellis, Jason Selby, Adam Wahala, Dawid Wieczorek. <br/><br/>This work was produced by disrupting the usual sheet-steel CAD design processes by programming it with a photograph of a press brake (the second machine in the factory line which ordinarily bends Ritherdon products into shape). This program instructed the machinery on the factory floor to punch out and bend a physical version of the translated image, resulting in the press brake machine bending a sculpture of itself into being. Every stage of the standard manufacturing process was renegotiated by Ritherdon staff and Ellis, in order to manufacture this ‘alternative product’. Driving the machines and processes beyond the normal parameters of their operations.

S.A.M.S.P.S.E (Semi-automatic machine self-portrait: Sculpture edition). <br/> 2021. Steel and powder coating 5000mm x 5000mm x 1000mm. <br/> Made By: Mark Blease, Matthew Bradley, Andy Bradshaw, Nicola Ellis, Jason Selby, Adam Wahala, Dawid Wieczorek. <br/><br/>This work was produced by disrupting the usual sheet-steel CAD design processes by programming it with a photograph of a press brake (the second machine in the factory line which ordinarily bends Ritherdon products into shape). This program instructed the machinery on the factory floor to punch out and bend a physical version of the translated image, resulting in the press brake machine bending a sculpture of itself into being. Every stage of the standard manufacturing process was renegotiated by Ritherdon staff and Ellis, in order to manufacture this ‘alternative product’. Driving the machines and processes beyond the normal parameters of their operations.S.A.M.S.P.S.E (Semi-automatic machine self-portrait: Sculpture edition). <br/> 2021. Steel and powder coating 5000mm x 5000mm x 1000mm. <br/> Made By: Mark Blease, Matthew Bradley, Andy Bradshaw, Nicola Ellis, Jason Selby, Adam Wahala, Dawid Wieczorek. <br/><br/>This work was produced by disrupting the usual sheet-steel CAD design processes by programming it with a photograph of a press brake (the second machine in the factory line which ordinarily bends Ritherdon products into shape). This program instructed the machinery on the factory floor to punch out and bend a physical version of the translated image, resulting in the press brake machine bending a sculpture of itself into being. Every stage of the standard manufacturing process was renegotiated by Ritherdon staff and Ellis, in order to manufacture this ‘alternative product’. Driving the machines and processes beyond the normal parameters of their operations.S.A.M.S.P.S.E (Semi-automatic machine self-portrait: Sculpture edition). <br/> 2021. Steel and powder coating 5000mm x 5000mm x 1000mm. <br/> Made By: Mark Blease, Matthew Bradley, Andy Bradshaw, Nicola Ellis, Jason Selby, Adam Wahala, Dawid Wieczorek. <br/><br/>This work was produced by disrupting the usual sheet-steel CAD design processes by programming it with a photograph of a press brake (the second machine in the factory line which ordinarily bends Ritherdon products into shape). This program instructed the machinery on the factory floor to punch out and bend a physical version of the translated image, resulting in the press brake machine bending a sculpture of itself into being. Every stage of the standard manufacturing process was renegotiated by Ritherdon staff and Ellis, in order to manufacture this ‘alternative product’. Driving the machines and processes beyond the normal parameters of their operations.S.A.M.S.P.S.E (Semi-automatic machine self-portrait: Sculpture edition). <br/> 2021. Steel and powder coating 5000mm x 5000mm x 1000mm. <br/> Made By: Mark Blease, Matthew Bradley, Andy Bradshaw, Nicola Ellis, Jason Selby, Adam Wahala, Dawid Wieczorek. <br/><br/>This work was produced by disrupting the usual sheet-steel CAD design processes by programming it with a photograph of a press brake (the second machine in the factory line which ordinarily bends Ritherdon products into shape). This program instructed the machinery on the factory floor to punch out and bend a physical version of the translated image, resulting in the press brake machine bending a sculpture of itself into being. Every stage of the standard manufacturing process was renegotiated by Ritherdon staff and Ellis, in order to manufacture this ‘alternative product’. Driving the machines and processes beyond the normal parameters of their operations.S.A.M.S.P.S.E (Semi-automatic machine self-portrait: Sculpture edition). <br/> 2021. Steel and powder coating 5000mm x 5000mm x 1000mm. <br/> Made By: Mark Blease, Matthew Bradley, Andy Bradshaw, Nicola Ellis, Jason Selby, Adam Wahala, Dawid Wieczorek. <br/><br/>This work was produced by disrupting the usual sheet-steel CAD design processes by programming it with a photograph of a press brake (the second machine in the factory line which ordinarily bends Ritherdon products into shape). This program instructed the machinery on the factory floor to punch out and bend a physical version of the translated image, resulting in the press brake machine bending a sculpture of itself into being. Every stage of the standard manufacturing process was renegotiated by Ritherdon staff and Ellis, in order to manufacture this ‘alternative product’. Driving the machines and processes beyond the normal parameters of their operations.S.A.M.S.P.S.E (Semi-automatic machine self-portrait: Sculpture edition). <br/> 2021. Steel and powder coating 5000mm x 5000mm x 1000mm. <br/> Made By: Mark Blease, Matthew Bradley, Andy Bradshaw, Nicola Ellis, Jason Selby, Adam Wahala, Dawid Wieczorek. <br/><br/>This work was produced by disrupting the usual sheet-steel CAD design processes by programming it with a photograph of a press brake (the second machine in the factory line which ordinarily bends Ritherdon products into shape). This program instructed the machinery on the factory floor to punch out and bend a physical version of the translated image, resulting in the press brake machine bending a sculpture of itself into being. Every stage of the standard manufacturing process was renegotiated by Ritherdon staff and Ellis, in order to manufacture this ‘alternative product’. Driving the machines and processes beyond the normal parameters of their operations.Donk, spray, clean, repeat. <br/> 2021. Four channel digital looped video and audio, mild steel frame.<br/>Made by: Matthew Bradley, Andy Bradshaw, Arron Davis, Nicola Ellis, Rhys Timperley.<br/><br/>Four films recorded through the apertures of the Ritherdon powder coating booth are projected onto a corresponding skeletal staging of the booth itself. The films show different powder booth activity including spraying, cleaning and downtime over a period of many months. The work functions as documentation of the Ritherdon paint shop environment and introduces the very specific pace of the overhead conveyor to the gallery space. It also re-orders the paint shop workload, digitally disrupting standard working timelines and procedures.Donk, spray, clean, repeat. <br/> 2021. Four channel digital looped video and audio, mild steel frame.<br/>Made by: Matthew Bradley, Andy Bradshaw, Arron Davis, Nicola Ellis, Rhys Timperley.<br/><br/>Four films recorded through the apertures of the Ritherdon powder coating booth are projected onto a corresponding skeletal staging of the booth itself. The films show different powder booth activity including spraying, cleaning and downtime over a period of many months. The work functions as documentation of the Ritherdon paint shop environment and introduces the very specific pace of the overhead conveyor to the gallery space. It also re-orders the paint shop workload, digitally disrupting standard working timelines and procedures.Donk, spray, clean, repeat. <br/> 2021. Four channel digital looped video and audio, mild steel frame.<br/>Made by: Matthew Bradley, Andy Bradshaw, Arron Davis, Nicola Ellis, Rhys Timperley.<br/><br/>Four films recorded through the apertures of the Ritherdon powder coating booth are projected onto a corresponding skeletal staging of the booth itself. The films show different powder booth activity including spraying, cleaning and downtime over a period of many months. The work functions as documentation of the Ritherdon paint shop environment and introduces the very specific pace of the overhead conveyor to the gallery space. It also re-orders the paint shop workload, digitally disrupting standard working timelines and procedures.Personal flash in real time (Tony) and Personal flash in real time (Andy) 2021. <br/> Industrial strip lights and light meter. <br/> Made by: Andy Bradshaw, Craig Oates, Nicola Ellis and Tony Lowther.<br/> <br/> Two sets of industrial strip lights hanging in the gallery’s double height space are connected via Wi-Fi to a pair of light sensors hanging from the ceilings of two welding booths, detecting the ‘flash’ made by welders at the Ritherdon factory. <br/>At Ritherdon, customer orders inform the workflow management system Seiki, which provides a timeframe in which each welding job should be completed. <br/>This work celebrates the welder working within this monitored and structured system by communicating their individual working rhythm in lights. The harsh UV light of the welding process – a barrier separating the individual from the rest of the workplace in the factory context- is translated from something incredibly dangerous and hostile to something communicative. <br/>The light ‘data’ is transmitted in real time and will only be received in the gallery during the factories working hours (7am – 4pm, Mon-Fri). The work points to the connections, overlap and differences between the factory and the gallery and their respective operating systems. A chart indicating light intensity in both Tony and Andy’s booth is visible on a screen in the gallery. Powder coated documents: No. 1 – 24. <br/>2020 – 2021. Powder coated mild steel 900mm x 900mm x 2mm. <br/>Made by: Matthew Bradley, Arron Davis and Nicola Ellis.<br/> <br/>Installed in the upper gallery, left to right in the order they were made, each panel has been coated top to bottom with the colours used in the paint shop on a single day. These bespoke panels, sized to fit comfortably on the gallery’s walls, were put onto the overhead conveyor of the Ritherdon paint shop at the end of each colour run, punctuating the manufacturing line, like a series of full stops. <br/>As a result of the factories production schedule some panels are coated in a single colour, others with multiple powders applied to one surface. This series of work makes it possible to compare the subtle differences in powder coating tones and finish, and to see how different powders interact with each other. In the factory context, this activity could be considered a rebellious act as each colour is actively cleaned out of the spray booth before the next can be used, in order to avoid colour ‘contamination’ of regular products. <br/>These works can be understood as paintings and also as documentation of the jobs processed in the paint shop over a series of days. They are a consolidation of data and a visual record of the factories daily activity.Powder coated documents: No. 1 – 24. <br/>2020 – 2021. Powder coated mild steel 900mm x 900mm x 2mm. <br/>Made by: Matthew Bradley, Arron Davis and Nicola Ellis.<br/> <br/>Installed in the upper gallery, left to right in the order they were made, each panel has been coated top to bottom with the colours used in the paint shop on a single day. These bespoke panels, sized to fit comfortably on the gallery’s walls, were put onto the overhead conveyor of the Ritherdon paint shop at the end of each colour run, punctuating the manufacturing line, like a series of full stops. <br/>As a result of the factories production schedule some panels are coated in a single colour, others with multiple powders applied to one surface. This series of work makes it possible to compare the subtle differences in powder coating tones and finish, and to see how different powders interact with each other. In the factory context, this activity could be considered a rebellious act as each colour is actively cleaned out of the spray booth before the next can be used, in order to avoid colour ‘contamination’ of regular products. <br/>These works can be understood as paintings and also as documentation of the jobs processed in the paint shop over a series of days. They are a consolidation of data and a visual record of the factories daily activity.Powder coated documents: No. 1 – 24. <br/>2020 – 2021. Powder coated mild steel 900mm x 900mm x 2mm. <br/>Made by: Matthew Bradley, Arron Davis and Nicola Ellis.<br/> <br/>Installed in the upper gallery, left to right in the order they were made, each panel has been coated top to bottom with the colours used in the paint shop on a single day. These bespoke panels, sized to fit comfortably on the gallery’s walls, were put onto the overhead conveyor of the Ritherdon paint shop at the end of each colour run, punctuating the manufacturing line, like a series of full stops. <br/>As a result of the factories production schedule some panels are coated in a single colour, others with multiple powders applied to one surface. This series of work makes it possible to compare the subtle differences in powder coating tones and finish, and to see how different powders interact with each other. In the factory context, this activity could be considered a rebellious act as each colour is actively cleaned out of the spray booth before the next can be used, in order to avoid colour ‘contamination’ of regular products. <br/>These works can be understood as paintings and also as documentation of the jobs processed in the paint shop over a series of days. They are a consolidation of data and a visual record of the factories daily activity.

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