Approved: 02.06.2016

Joe Hancock

Artist, Consultant, Lecturer / academic, Maker, Project manager

Approved: 02.06.2016


I am an interdisciplinary visual artist with a research-based practice, investigating expanded theories of ‘making’ by considering it to be a universal defining human preoccupation.

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    I am an interdisciplinary visual artist with a research-based practice, investigating expanded theories of ‘making’ by considering it to be a universal defining human preoccupation.

    I am currently undertaking an MA in Fine Art at Manchester School of Art. Previous study includes: Leeds College of Art (Foundation: distinction, 2010), Glasgow School of Art (Sculpture and Environmental Art: First Class Honours, 2014) and School of the Art Institute of Chicago (exchange programme, 2012).

    My work has been shown in Glasgow, London, Manchester, Leeds, Blackpool and Edinburgh, where I was selected for RSA New Contemporaries 2015 for my work ‘Deus Ex Machina’.

    I collaborate with academics and other artists to produce investigative works and papers that expand my practice beyond the studio.

    Before commencing postgraduate study I was an associate lecturer at the University of Huddersfield, teaching Contemporary Art and Illustration, and have also taught undergraduates at Leeds Beckett and Leeds Arts universities.

    I provide consultation to arts commissioning organisations on public sculpture projects e.g. Engels’ Beard, University of Salford; professional services to artist-led spaces e.g. AIR Gallery, Altrincham; and fabrication services to artists e.g. Hannah Leighton-Boyce, Darren Nixon, Nicola Dale and Lisa Stansbie.

    Artist Statement

    I am interested in how any thing – an object, an action or an idea – is made.

    I investigate expanded theories of making, considering it a universal defining human preoccupation.

    I make performances, installations, sculptures, text, photography and conceptual works. These generate interdisciplinary approaches toward a unified theory of making, mapping and modelling making processes in any form, and creating new permutations of creative activity.

    My meticulous working process invokes all actions involved in making something, from concept to realisation, as vital and discreet components of the finished work:

    I consider my works strictly as documentation of their making process.

    Working collaboratively with artists and curators I investigate the ways in which materials, methods, practice and techniques encapsulate lived experience, historical fact and personal expression.

    Specifically, I am interested in the similarities, differences and interrelationships between acts of labour and of art work, including ‘repair’ as a creative, networked, social form of making.

    Shelves, benches and other quotidian constructions emerge within my practice as literal and metaphorical platforms for the development of an analytical, poetic ontology of making.

    Some of my work is invisible. Given the chance, I would make works the size of nations.

    CV & Education


    2017 -
    X≠Y: How to put up a shelf (V)Curator’s Choice series, Leeds Arts University

    "How to Put Up a Shelf has gone through several iterations. As a mode of self-querying, the artist asks himself a series of 553 questions, “providing insight into the multiple mindstates of the labourer/artist” and the practical challenges of curating itself. The fifth iteration of Joe Hancock’s ‘How to put up a shelf’ comprises a co-investigative performance into the politics of curating and fabrication. Using the symbol ≠ as a representation of unequal shelving, a female curator and male artist will work in tandem to construct two shelves. This performative intervention aims to create a more level playing field whilst framing and challenging prejudices regarding positions of power in industry."

    2016 -
    (8 off)&Model Gallery, Leeds

    • A performance & exhibition marking the end of an extended residency at &Model.

    (8 off) is a 14.4 metre long bench at which visitors may participate by repairing any thing that is broken - from a bicycle to a relationship. The bench was split into eight separate sections as a live performance before being distributed to new locations and users.
    Part of REPAIR, an on-going artistic research project investigating the social and practical function of repair. Supported by Arts Council England Grants for The Arts.

    2016 -
    Deus Ex Machina&Model North, Leeds

    • A freestanding kinetic sculpture made from two reclaimed electric stairlifts, customised to run continuously in a dissonant sequence up and down two spiral tracks supported on a fabricated frame.


    2018 – PLACE, SPACE, ACTION – The Market Gallery, Huddersfield
    2017 – FIX – ICW… (In Collaboration With…), Blackpool
    2017 – MAKE//SHIFTAir Gallery, Altrincham, Manchester
    2017 – Internal StructuresManifest Festival, Artwork Atelier, Salford
    2016Progress / Manchester Histories Festival – Rogue Studios, Manchester (collaboration with Nicola Dale)
    2015 – Phoenix Exhibition – Glasgow School of Art
    2015 – New Scottish Artists – The Fleming Collection, London
    2015 – RSA New Contemporaries 2015 – Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh
    2014 – Looking at the reflection of reality – Mark Devereux Projects, Manchester
    2014 – eX – blip blip blip, Leeds
    2014 – Part Seen, Imagined Part: GSA in Dunoon – Dunoon Burgh Hall
    2014 – Undergraduate Showcase – Glasgow School of Art


    2018-19 – Manchester School of Art – MA Fine Art [completion September 2019]
    2010-14 – Glasgow School of Art – BA(Hons) Sculpture and Environmental Art [1st Class]
    2012 – School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, U.S.A. – Exchange programme
    2009-10 – Leeds Arts University – Foundation Diploma in Fine Art [Distinction]


    • A Theory of Making – ongoing practice-based research developing theoretical models of making.
    • (8 off) – Stage 2 – distributed network of benches functioning as eight sites of making, recording the stories of their use upon their surface.
    • Repair – extended practice and research based project considering ‘repair’ as a form of making.
    • How to put up a shelf – ongoing series of works exploring the ontology of a shelf as an object and phenomenological construct.


    2017 – ICW… (In Collaboration With…), Blackpool – ‘FIX’ – one-month residency & exhibition with artist Nicola Ellis
    2016 – &Model Gallery, Leeds – four-month solo residency
    2014-15 – Castlefield Gallery New Art Spaces, Federation House, Manchester – five-month residency


    2017 – New Modes of Art Writing Event 2 – MMU, Manchester, UK – Conversation with a future sculpture (first public presentation)


    2016 – University of Huddersfield – artist talk – 60 minute presentation & Q+A
    2016 – & Model North, Leeds – artist talk – 60 minute presentation & Q+A
    2016 – Leeds Beckett University – artist talk – 90 minute presentation & Q+A
    2016 – Leeds Arts University – artist talk – introduction to ‘Repair’ project
    2015 – Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh – artist talk – Creative Conversations series


    2016 – Arts Council England – Grants for the Arts
    2014 – Phoenix Bursary
    2010 – Harry Meadley Prize


    2018 – Axisweb – Category of the week: ExhibitionCatawampus
    2018 – Axisweb – Category of the week: Residency(8 off)
    2017 – Axisweb – Category of the week: Practice-based research(8 off)
    2017 – ASAP/J (Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present Journal, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD, USA.) – feature review by Catriona McAra& Model Gallery Sumer Residency 2016
    2017 – Axisweb – Category of the Week: Sculpture, selected by Rebecca Senior (Axisweb / MMU / Corridor 8) – How to put up a shelf (IV)
    2017 – Axisweb – Five To Watch selected by Thomas Dukes of Open Eye Gallery, LiverpoolX≠Y
    2017 – Axisweb – Category of the Week: Intervention – selected artistHow to put up a shelf (IV)
    2017 – Corridor 8 – feature review by Karen Tobias GreenX≠Y
    2017 – Axisweb – New Art Highlights selectionHow to put up a shelf (IV)
    2016 – Axisweb – Five To Watch selectionDeus Ex Machina
    2016 – a-n – review by Bob Dickinson – Progress / Manchester Histories Festival – The Work As A Result
    2015 – The Skinny – review by Adam Benmakhlouf – RSA New Contemporaries exhibition – Deus Ex Machina
    2015 – Arts Press – review by Tim Cornwell – RSA New Contemporaries exhibition – Deus Ex Machina
    2014 – The Skinny – review by Adam Benmakhlouf – GSA Degree ShowAnthorn


    2015 – What A Week – catalogue essay for Phoenix Exhibition, Glasgow
    2013 – Cataphote, or, Beauty Is In The I of the Beholder – artist book / text work, Glasgow / Leeds / Chicago, U.S.A.
    2011 – Artist interview – in ‘Catalogue Available’ by Alex Farrar, Leeds


    • School of the Art Institute, Chicago – Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection
    • Glasgow School of Art – Artists’ Book Collection
    • Leeds Arts University – Artists’ Book Collection
    • Private collections in: New York (USA), Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.


    2016-18 – University of Huddersfield – Associate Lecturer, BA(Hons) Contemporary Art & Illustration
    2016 – Leeds Arts University – Associate Lecturer, BA(Hons) Fine Art
    2016 – Leeds Beckett University – Visiting Artist – ‘What Are You Doing’ – 4 day devised project for undergraduates
    2016 – Leeds Beckett University – Visiting Tutor – studio tutorials with undergraduate and postgraduate students
    2015 – Glasgow School of Art – Workshop Technician – technical & tutorial support to undergraduate & postgraduate students


    2018 – AIR GalleryPlatform Bursary [emerging artist award, mentoring & exhibition] – selector and consultant
    2017 – Leeds Arts University / Leeds City CouncilFemale Public Sculpture [working title] (forthcoming commissioned public artwork) – technical consultancy
    2015-16 – Engine Productions / University of Salford / Entre-Prises UK Ltd.Engels’ Beard (large outdoor public sculpture / climbing wall) – technical project management, design and fabrication
    2016 – Darren NixonThe Awkward Ambassador (commissioned painting / installation) – skills teaching and fabrication (Salford / Manchester)


    2018 – Hannah Leighton-Boyce, Manchester – Dreaming of Dead Fish – exhibition fabrication & technical support
    2017 – Brass Art, Manchester – Gestured – exhibition fabrication & technical support
    2017 – Ian Jackson, London – Farmers Tan – design & fabrication
    2017 – Nicola Dale, Manchester – It Stares Us Down – sculptural fabrication
    2016 – Maurice Carlin, Salford – Temporary Custodians – sculptural design & fabrication
    2016 – Maurice Carlin, Salford – Storage / Stowage – sculptural design & fabrication
    2015 – Lisa Stansbie, Leeds – Swimming Machine – sculptural design & fabrication