Artist Statement

I am interested in how any thing – an object, an action or an idea – is made. I produce installations, sculptures, performances, text and conceptual works that explore ways in which materials and manual skills and techniques encapsulate cultural references, historical fact and personal expression.

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

The material from which something is made, and how it is made are my two primary concerns: the physical properties of a material or action often serve as inspiration. My working process is meticulous and I consider all actions involved in making something, from concept to realisation, as vital and discreet components of the finished work.

As a keen user of space, many of my sculptural works are large-scale, constructed using engineering techniques and devised to experiment with spatial relationships. I sometimes use the relationships between elements within a system (e.g. bureaucratic, logical, technical) as conceptual starting points.

Working both within a studio and ‘in-situ’ responding directly to a site, as well as making sculpture I also write, producing text works, articles, essays and prose that develop my ideas in a dialectic form. A burgeoning part of my practice is in collaboration with other artists, exploring the relationship between our different skill sets. Through this I also explore and challenge the traditional roles of fabricator and artist.

Joe Hancock. May 2016


Selected Solo Exhibitions

2017 – X≠Y: How to put up a shelf (V)Curator’s Choice series, Leeds Arts University
2016 – (8 off)&Model Gallery, Leeds.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2017 – MAKE//SHIFTAir Gallery, Altrincham, Manchester
2017 – Internal StructuresManifest Festival 2017, Artwork Atelier, Salford
2016 Deus Ex Machina&Model North, Leeds
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

Current Projects

  • Repair – extended practice and research based project considering ‘repair’ as a form of making.
  • How to put up shelves – development of a body of work exploring the ontology of the shelf as object and as a phenomenological construct.



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

Selected Talks

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

Awards / Bursaries

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

Press & Media

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 – AxiswebCategory of the Week: Sculpture, selected by Rebecca Senior (Axisweb / MMU / Corridor 8) – How to put up a shelf (IV)
2017 – AxiswebFive To Watch selected by Thomas Dukes of Open Eye Gallery, LiverpoolX≠Y
2017 – AxiswebCategory of the Week: Intervention – selectedHow to put up a shelf (IV)
2017 – Corridor 8feature review by Karen Tobias GreenX≠Y
2017 – AxiswebNew Art Highlights selectionHow to put up a shelf (IV)
2016 – AxiswebFive To Watch selectionDeus Ex Machina
2016 – a-nreview by Bob Dickinson – Progress / Manchester Histories Festival – The Work As A Result
2015 – The Skinnyreview by Adam Benmakhlouf – RSA New Contemporaries exhibition – Deus Ex Machina
2015 – Arts Pressreview by Tim Cornwell – RSA New Contemporaries exhibition – Deus Ex Machina
2014 – The Skinnyreview by Adam Benmakhlouf – GSA Degree ShowAnthorn


  • What A Weekcatalogue essay for Phoenix Exhibition, Glasgow (2015)
  • Cataphote, or, Beauty Is In The I of the Beholderartist book / text work, Glasgow / Leeds / Chicago, U.S.A. (2013)
  • Artist interview – in Catalogue Available by Alex Farrar (2011)


  • Private collections in New York, U.S.A. & Manchester, U.K.
  • School of the Art Institute, Chicago – Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection
  • Glasgow School of Art – Artists’ Book Collection
  • Leeds Arts University – Artists’ Book Collection


  • University of Huddersfield – Associate Lecturer, BA(Hons) Contemporary Art (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 (2016)
  • Glasgow School of Art – Workshop Technician – technical & tutorial support to undergraduate & postgraduate students (2015)


  • GesturedBrass Art, Manchester – exhibition fabrication & technical support (2017)
  • Farmers TanIan Jackson, London – design & fabrication (2017)
  • It Stares Us DownNicola Dale, Manchester – sculptural fabrication (2016-17)
  • Temporary CustodiansMaurice Carlin, Salford – sculptural design & fabrication (2016)
  • Storage / StowageMaurice Carlin, Salford – sculptural design & fabrication (2016)
  • Swimming MachineLisa Stansbie, Leeds – sculptural design & fabrication (2015)

Fabrication Consultancy/ Project Management

  • Female Public Sculpture [working title]Leeds Arts University / Leeds City Council, Leeds (2017- )
  • Engels’ BeardEngine Productions, Salford.
    Public art work – large outdoor sculpture / climbing wall – technical project management and fabrication (2015-16)
  • The Awkward AmbassadorDarren Nixon, Salford / Manchester.
    Commissioned painting / installation – skills teaching and fabrication services (2015-16)