Skip to main content

Joe Hancock

Interdisciplinary artist investigating the philosophy of making by considering it to be a universal defining human preoccupation.


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.


+/- [maquette]


How to put up a shelf (I)


Hand of the artist

Catawampus Schematic

Catawampus Version



X?Y: How to put up a shelf (V)

How to put up a shelf (IV)

Migraine with Ophthalmoplegia

Become a member

We support our members with: insurance, networks, space, opportunities, R&D awards, profiling, advice and mentoring.
Become a member