Nicola Ellis and Ritherdon & Co Ltd: No gaps in the line
13th June 2021 – 1st August 2021
Castlefield Gallery reopens its doors with Nicola Ellis’ first major solo exhibition. The exhibition will feature site-responsive installation, sculpture, painting, drawing, video and photography; works that bring the rhythms, sounds and material of manufacturing into the gallery space in unexpected ways.
Ritherdon & Co Ltd are metalwork specialists who have been based in Darwen, Lancashire since 1895, Ellis was introduced to them by The National Festival of Making and has spent two years in Darwen as Artist in Placement at this family-run manufacturer of steel enclosures.
Working closely with experienced members of the Ritherdon team, Ellis has been observing, participating in, and at times, disrupting the ecosystem of the factory, relying on their knowledge and ability to operate machinery at the edge of its potential. New works developed during Ellis’ time at the factory expose a brutal beauty in the factory’s minimal waste materials and explore what happens when industrial processes are pushed to their limit.
Ellis has previously used industrial materials that are often perceived as low value or waste. This practice started through necessity early in her career where she was supplied with cast-off materials by her father, an engineer in the steel industry. The exhibition will include a large site-responsive work reaching up into the Castlefield Gallery’s double-height space interacting with its architecture and towering over visitors.
The exhibition opens on the 13th of June and runs until the 1st of August.