Nicola Ellis: Sculpture: a fabrication

Sculpture: a fabrication is a research and development project by artist Nicola Ellis.

Utilising practical research to inform new sculptural works, the project explores the processes inherent in the production of large-scale public sculpture, the artist/fabricator dynamic and how the artist’s hand can be present in elements of sculpture fabricated by others.

It builds on the research and relationships Ellis developed during a previous research project Play/pause: the turbulent history of UK steel, in which she spent time on large-scale industrial steel sites and within steel communities.

Ellis is conducting site visits to UK-based steel fabricators who specialise in the production of large-scale sculptural work by internationally renowned artists.

Using these site visits as technical inspiration, Ellis will be testing new works in progress in three exhibitions in Manchester, Altrincham and Blackpool throughout the project. The first exhibition is at The Great Medical Disaster in September (see below).

Three public talks by guest speakers – which will each address different technical, conceptual and social issues inherent within public sculpture – will be announced shortly.

Sculpture: a fabrication is an Arts Council England funded project and is produced by Mark Devereux Projects.

Talks programme

Vicki Young | Senior Curator | FutureCity
6-7pm | Thursday 5 October 2017
Manchester Art Gallery
Book tickets at EventBrite.

Vicki Young, Senior Curator at FutureCity discusses her work and how major site-specific public sculpture is commissioned, funded and realised.

Sculpture: a fabrication talks programme contextualises the research of Mark Devereux Projects’ represented artist Nicola Ellis. With four new commissions planned for the public realm in Greater Manchester, these timely talks will each address the differing logistical, conceptual and social aspects of public sculpture.


The talk is free but booking is essential. Book tickets at EventBrite.

About Vicki Young

Vicki Young curates and manages the delivery of many of Futurecity’s major public art commissions, projects and cultural programmes in the public realm.

Young’s commissions include Conrad Shawcross’ The Optic Cloak, a 49 metre embedded design within the flue tower of a new Energy Centre on Greenwich Peninsula, and co-curating a £1.7m Arts Programme at the new Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital, which featured five major embedded art commissions by international artists and designers.

Accompanying exhibitions

Transfuse: Three weeks of sculpture at The Great Medical Disaster

Paul Bramley / Nicola Ellis / Alyson Olson / Polly Tomlinson

20/09/17 – 11/10/17

Four artists will take up residence at The Great Medical Disaster to make sculpture in response to the internal architecture of the space.

Developing a dialogue between each practice, they will discuss mutual motivations of process, materiality, Arte Povera and the Baroque.

You are welcome to view and discuss the works at the open event on 05/10/17 18.30 – 21.30pm.

The Great Medical Disaster, Unit 3, Great Northern Tower, Watson Street, Manchester, M3 4EE.

Castlefield Gallery’s New Art Spaces (NAS) is an initiative to create dynamic project spaces for artists, artist collectives and artist development agencies. Making use of temporary vacant retail, office and light industrial units, NAS provides opportunities for emerging creatives to incubate their practices, produce work and showcase new art to local communities. Currently CG runs New Art Spaces in Bolton, Leigh and Manchester City Centre.

Supported by: