The Drill Hall Gallery’s first exhibition for 2021 covers 30 years of the Sydney-based artist Nicole Ellis’ art-making. It surveys her rich and complex involvement with collage, assemblage and found materials. Fastidiously selected textiles comprise the “palettes” and provide tones and textures that she moulds into consistently beautiful, poised, luminous compositions.
“I enjoy incidental elements,” Ellis explains, “flaws, traces of human touch and gesture, and I seek out different assemblage techniques through experimentation and research. I enjoy the qualities of the worn, aged, broken, torn, the seeming casual, the imperfect, traces of paint and reversals.”
However, as critic Anna Johnson has observed, Ellis’s method of generating images is “riven with quiet reversals”:
“Post-objective and anti-descriptive, her work involves the cohesive life of the materials themselves, and the cleaving point where surfaces meet. Here is ‘painting’ that dwells in residue, damage and remains. The results cannot be abstracted from the process. They are the process.”
Nicole Ellis, Fabrications is curated by Tony Oates
Feb 19 – 11 April 2021