In More room for error, Ellis looked at material components that are often intentionally hidden in structures and spaces. Exposing the weld or stitch between materials and highlighting their imperfections, her work questions underlying assumptions around the functions and roles of different objects and materials in architectural space.
Much of the works within the exhibitions focused around Ellis’ investigations into metalworking, with a particular focus on welding steel. Ellis studied, researched and learnt the industry standard rules, which she has then gone on to question, dissect and divert into a methodology for creating art works. The results of this investigation, mixed with acts of ‘play’ and interpretations of space, offer an opportunity for us to consider the relations between what is sculpture and what is structure.
Featuring work made over the last eighteen months, alongside pieces made in situ, More room for error was the largest exhibition of Ellis’ practice to date. Ellis was in residence at each of the galleries prior to the launch of the exhibitions creating new work in response to the fabric of the space.
Nicola Ellis made her most ambitious work to date at &Model, Leeds, joining the whole of the three-storey townhouse gallery with one site-responsive work. Following this, the final exhibition at Bloc Projects in Sheffield was centred on the city’s historic steel industry and the gallery’s previous usage as a grinding shed by Granton Knives who have been producing cutlery in Sheffield since 1601.
Complementing the exhibition, Mark Devereux Projects commissioned a new publication featuring an essay by &Model Director Derek Horton and works made during the project.