artist nicole ellis

Sydney-based artist Nicole Ellis is interested in the idea of historical recycling. Previously her site works involved large-scale paint skins peeled back from wooden floors of a clothing manufacturer's warehouse. This time for her exhibition Artifact at the James Dorahy Project Space she has used discarded factory samples and other items found at home, such as cotton sheets and pillowcases, as her canvas.

Nicole studied art in her hometown of Adelaide and completed a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Tasmania. She has exhibited in Australia and internationally, and received numerous awards and residences. Most recently she was at the Rome Studio thanks to the Australia Council. Her work has been collected by Artbank, the National Gallery of Victoria, the Museum of Sydney, among others.

Which five words best describe you? Creative, thoughtful, quick, observant, loyal.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? My first show was at the Experimental Art Foundation in Adelaide. It's been a long path but I have happily stayed with contemporary art, travelling/working and teaching at the
College of Fine Arts in Sydney.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Stay focused, persevere, remember to laugh a lot and never ignore your friends.
What’s your proudest career achievement? There’s been a few along the way, but yet to come I hope. I collaborated early on with animators and digital designers to produce several experimental video installations, in relation to water and history, around Sydney Harbour and the Thames, amongst other sites.
What’s been your best decision? Becoming an artist and travelling as much as I can.
Who inspires you? My students – they never cease to amaze me, and the very old who still love life and are active and wise. Australian Aboriginal art constantly inspires me.
What are you passionate about? Contemporary art and Australian aboriginal art. Animals are up there, the environment, rustic food and contemporary design.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Sonia Delaunay
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I still want visit the tiny adze built wooden onion domed, church-within a church on Kizhi Island, Lake Onega in Russia and go to St Petersburg.
What are you reading? Nothing to be frightened of by Julian Barnes