Nigel Ellis was born in Old Stevenage in 1960, and studied at St Alban's College of Art (1978-79), Canterbury College of Art (1979-82) and Chelsea School of Art (1983-1984). Ellis now lives and works in London.
Recent exhibitions include: Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (2012); Art At The Edge, The Bristol Gallery, Bristol (2011); Critics Choice, Browse and Darby, London; Critics Choice, Wills Lane Gallery, St Ives; Dudmaston Estate, Bridgnorth, Shropshire (2010); h.art, The Drawing Gallery, Herefordshire; The Engine Shed, Museum of Iron, Coalbrookdale (2009); Royal Society of British Sculptors, London; Space Now, London; Shire Hall Gallery, Stafford; Schmatte Couture, Rivington Gallery, London (2008); London Art Fair, Chelsea (2007); The Drawing Gallery, London; Vivian Young Gallery, Norfolk; BBH London (2006); William Hanham, London (2005).
Nigel Ellis was involved in the development of the Florence Trust which provides studio space for artists in London.
Nigel Ellis is hugely inspired by Edgar Degas' work, whose exhibition at the Lefevre Gallery influenced him to commence working in three dimensional form. The inner qualities of the Degas sculptures made him aware that material things carried elements which are invisible. It is these invisible elements which Ellis strives to expose through his sculptural practice. The idea of looking at an everyday object, in his case a water tap, as if it were transparent, encouraged Ellis to make drawings of the object from sides that were hidden. This process of drawing helped him to see alternative perspectives and catalyse imaginings for new work.
Ellis sees his work as a search for 'sustained awareness'. He wants to see 'sculpture that is an authentic and rigorous embodiment of experience without in any way depicting it'. He is also fascinated by the formal, imaginative and optical explorations of modernism, particularly in Britain, in the early sixties. His works have become increasingly architectural over recent years and colour, geometry and repeated forms all have their place in his work.