Nicola Ellis

I am interested in the properties, value, function and circulation of materials. With a current focus on metals and the companies that work with them, my work draws on the visual and spoken language of industry operations, fabrication and profiling processes. The parameters for my sculpture, installation, drawings and videos include relationships between people, businesses and technology.


My work often features scrap material and industrial detritus, referencing the tradition of mid-twentieth century abstract metal sculpture. Breaking from this tradition, my process of making often creates situations for increasingly improvised and impermanent works. Further to this, materials and knowledge are often loaned or traded; they become a kind of currency. I am interested in the exchange of skills, interpreting data and investigating practical function to reflect on the value of material and industry locally, nationally and internationally.


I am currently undertaking the two year project ‘Return to Ritherdon’ which is built around a two year residency at Ritherdon & Co Ltd, a manufacturer of metal enclosures based in Darwen, Lancashire UK.


During this project I will study the ecosystem of the Ritherdon factory and its associated business operations. New works and methodologies will be informed by studying the application of Lean Manufacturing philosophy and contextualised by research into the Artist Placement Group activity. Most importantly, the project will facilitate situations in which an artist and manufacturer can witness each other work in the factory, local community, studio and gallery. We will identify, investigate and utilise our similarities and differences for the benefit of both parties.






Nicola Ellis in residence at Ritherdon & Co Ltd. An Essay by Lauren Velvick


Molten lines and metallic dreams: The recent sculpture of Nicola Ellis. An essay by Derek Horton


Corridor8 review. More room for error: Nicola Ellis


Corridor8 review. Meanwhile See This


Corridor8 review. Nicola Ellis & Aura Satz, Castlefield Gallery