‘Nicole Ellis Engram’, 3 September – 4 October 1997, Greenaway Art Gallery Adelaide, Australia, 1997
Nicole Ellis’ work investigates the material, cultural and historical traces which register a human presence. Involving painting, installation, historical record, architecture and archaeology, layers of association are invoked through the interrelation of material and provoke a subtle questioning and stimulus for the memory.
The Erasure series looks at the parallels between the erasing of work histories by dominant forms of representation and modernism, with its systematic elimination or suppression of the ‘gestural’ body in art and architecture. The floor board strips read as floor, or ‘stripes’ as in modernist abstraction, alongside the notion of ‘wiping’ something clean: a clean sheet. The structures of early half-timbered houses in Europe provide a further reference. Graphite, as a common drawing material and lubricant used in industrial machinery, suggests a connection between the individual worker and the (post) industrial society.
Subject to Wear and Tear from an earlier series, comment on the obvious signs of wear apparent in the paint skins, and the people who ‘worked’ on the floor boards being subjected to wear and tear.