Units, 2017, Nicola Ellis | Image: Jules Lister

Sculpture: a fabrication

Nicola Ellis

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.


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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 will each address different technical, conceptual and social issues inherent within public sculpture.