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My name is Ellie Barrett, and I’m an artist and practice-based researcher. My research explores material meaning in contemporary sculpture, and why it is so important to involve this in visual art.

I understand material as playing vital social, cultural and political roles. I believe that linking it to social context is a means of opening up participation in contemporary visual art.

One strand of my research is my studio practice. I make sculpture which examines practical ways of working with different materials to make meaning.

I want them to be engaging and funny.

My sculptures can be viewed on my artist website at

PUT IT TO WORK is a platform for exploring and sharing my text based research.

This research includes analysing texts to identify different material models both inside and outside of art criticism, and finding ways of creating space for material in written text.

One of my primary aims is that my text based research is useful and relevant outside of academia. I hope that it is accessible to artists, curators, critics and audiences.

This blog is a space to share and test out my writing and other resources.

If you’re interested in my research, please get in touch at