Nicola Ellis is interested in the operations of industrial, bespoke and sculptural modes of production and her work often creates a convergence point for process, context and visual culture found within these production environments. Evidence of the individual is combined with materials and systems found within/produced by them, forming parameters for sculptural objects, site-responsive installations and works on paper.
Ellis has recently been undertaking a Grants for the Arts funded research and development project: Sculpture: a fabrication. The main focus of this project was to understand the mechanics of large scale public sculpture commissioning, the artist/fabricator dynamic and how the artists hand can be present in elements of sculpture fabricated by others. This project built on the previous research project Play/pause: the turbulent history of UK steel which took place within large scale industrial steel sites and communities, for the purpose of understanding socio-political factors brought about by large scale industry in decline.