bloc projects


Bloc Billboard: Sam Hewland

Oct 27 – Dec 22


What do we have when attempting to be aware of our position in the system of the world. How do we attempt to be concerned with what we are making and the legacy of those things we leave behind? What does it mean to be European? What did it used to mean? What will it mean in the future? What are the physical remnants that people will be able to recognise as European and if not just a set of ideas what else represents it apart from colonial decay?

How has Europe culturally reacted to Britons exit from the European Union? How are structures preserved and how do they transgress into monuments? How does a countries architecture and monuments represent it in the world ,and how might this translate into how they and we see ourselves, especially now as an independent nation floating adrift. How will the notions of what Europe portrays now be abstracted within future histories?

Sam Hewland has been recently been investigating boundaries in shape and form of architectural history and political histories that have shaped notions of what Europe looks like today. Using references of physical structures and the collaging of imagery, with work that looks at physical notions surrounding architecture and troubles with European architectural histories, Hewland will construct a multi paneled image inspired by the visitor attraction Mini-Europe, that can be found in Brussels, Belgium.



Sam Hewland, b. 1991, Stockport; studied Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University, graduating in 2014. Sam will be undertaking an MFA at Glasgow School of Art in 2017. Selected exhibitions include: Minimum Crisis (Solo) Arbyte LASER, London (2017); Hunky Dory, Enclave Lab, London (2017); Nottingham Castle Open, Nottingham Castle, (2016-17); Terrorformers/ Mould Map 6, Bonington Gallery, Nottingham (2016); Rate of Decline w/ Mark Riddington, LosersGym, Nottingham, (2016); Trace Programme, Aspirational Living, Nottingham, (2016); THANKS, The Pipe Factory, Glasgow (2014).


Open Residency: Duncan Higgins

23 Oct – 2 Nov

For Open Residency, Higgins will be utilising Bloc Projects as a space ‘between the studio and museum’ to further explore how to articulate the on-going responses to the past 14 years of artistic production carried out by Higgins in north Russia, in particular the Solovki archipelago and subsequent associated inter-related narrative episodes.

The aim of Open Residency is to allow Higgins to further address how the parameters of image production and forms of exhibition can construct or provoke a dialogical and discursive space for shared negotiation around highly contentious or problematic themes inherent in the representations explored through Higgins’ work.

Higgins asks; how the ‘image’ and the act of ‘making images’ combined with ‘where the image performs’ can offer ways to discuss or contest specific cultural narratives and the subsequent tension between conflicting ideas.

The whole process is expressed through Higgins’ production of paintings, photographs, cinematography, texts, publication, sound works and sculpture, further developed through lectures, teaching, interviews, workshops and distilled from testimony literature, archival material and autoethnographic fieldwork.

Throughout Open Residency Higgins will be forming and re-forming exhibitions within the gallery on a day-to-day basis drawn from the large body of his artworks. Alongside this there will be both formal and informal conversation and discussion through initiation with the public and students.



Duncan Higgins is Professor of Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University and Professor of Fine Art at The University of Bergen, Norway. In 2006 Professor Higgins was awarded a three year National Endowment for Science Technology and Arts (NESTA) fellowship. Most recently Higgins has had solo exhibitions at The Bag Factory Johannesburg, M. K. Čiurlionis National Museum of Art, Kaunus, Lithuania; South Bank Centre and Royal Festival Hall, London; Czech Cultural Centre and Russian Centre for Art and Science, Prague; Solovki State Museum Reserve Russia; Academy of Arts in Warsaw, Poland and Rm8, Bergen, Norway.

  • Spare Room Residency, install, 2017 Spare Room Residency, Install, 2017 (image courtesy Jamie Sorensen)

Artist Talk: Lucy Vann

Sat 14 Oct, 2 – 4pm

To coincide with the last weekend of Test Bed #1, we will be hosting an in discussion event with artist Lucy Vann.

Lucy Vann will be speaking about the work that she has produced for the exhibition along with a more comprehensive overview of her practice. Following her artist talk, Lucy Vann will be in conversation with Bloc Projects Director, David McLeavy.

The Bloc Projects Test Bed is focused on providing artists with a publicly facing gallery space to experiment with new approaches, and techniques and to engage with audiences in new ways.



Lucy Vann (b.1987) works in moving image, sound, performance, writing and photography. In 2012 she graduated from Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art and is currently a studio holder at S1 Artspace, Sheffield. Recent shows include Spare Room Residency, Liverpool; Stored in the Depths at Is This It, online; Life oh Life at The Royal Standard, Liverpool; Five Finger Discount at Bronze Dog, Goteberg; Ground at Turf Projects, Croydon, Keep the Dust Off, S1 Artspace, Sheffield.


  • Green veg isolated, 2017 Green vegetable isolated, 2017 (image courtesy: Jamie Sorensen)
  • I don't always do this, 2017 I don't always do all of this, 2017 (image courtesy: Jamie Sorensen)
  • Spare Room Residency, install, 2017 Spare Room Residency, installation, 2017 (image courtesy: Jamie Sorensen)

Test Bed #1: Lucy Vann

29 September – 14 October 2017

PV Friday 29 September, 6 – 8pm

Bloc Projects’ Test Bed series is focused on providing artists with a publicly facing gallery space to experiment with new approaches, and techniques and to engage with audiences in new ways.

For Test Bed #1, Bloc Projects will be commissioning new work by Sheffield based artist Lucy Vann.

Lucy Vann’s practice is spread across video, sculpture, performance and installation and is concerned with slowly changing and suspended moments found within our everyday lives. These moments are often documented, replicated and manipulated in the gallery space, presenting new situations for these serendipitous encounters. In addition to this, Vann also references themes of self-help and maintenance, aimed to holistically develop the body and mind as a way to understand and navigate the contemporary world.

For Test Bed #1, Vann will be assembling a series of new works that build on her interests in the slowly changing forms within living organisms and their apparent suspension and formal stability.



Lucy Vann lives and works in Sheffield and Manchester and is a studio holder at S1 Artspace, Sheffield. Recent exhibitions include CCTV17, Caustic Coastal, Manchester, Stored in the Depths, Isthisit?, Online, Spare Room Residency, Liverpool and Life…Oh Life, The Royal Standard, Liverpool.

An Open Ground

09 September – 21 September 2017

Opening fete event Saturday 09 September, 12 – 8pm (as part of Heritage Open Days)

Bloc Projects is delighted to announce that it has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund for a project which explores, maps and celebrates the heritage of the area around Bloc Projects.

An Open Ground has been supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players, we have been able to work on putting together a project that brings together occupants of the Arundel Street Lower Porter area of Sheffield city centre, school and university students and the general public in exploring, recording, mapping and sharing the area’s architectural, industrial, cultural and community heritage.

As part of this unique project Bloc Projects have commissioned a new film to be produced by Sheffield based artist Peter Martin that explores the particular changes occurring across this transient area of the city. By using local occupants as starting points, Martin’s film will further investigate the nature of the site through a method of collaging video, collected audio and narratives provided by local residents.

A photography workshop lead by Joanne Coates will take place prior to the opening of the exhibition that looks at using the lens as a way of connecting and documenting our surroundings. The photographs produced by the group will be on display in the gallery throughout the exhibition.

On Saturday 9th September, and to coincide with Heritage Open Days, Bloc Projects will also play host to a fete in the gallery’s courtyard to mark the opening of the exhibition. The event will include local food by Tonco, music, local artist’s work and guided tours of the area by Sheffield historian Ron Clayton.

Tours are free and booking is recommended to avoid disappointment. Book here!

A new Bloc Billboard commission will be undertaken by Sheffield based design group Dust. In addition to designing the new billboard, Dust will also be building a website that will host all of the information, including images and videos from the exhibition and events. This will act as a long standing resource for anyone who would like to engage with the project following the end of the exhibition.



Peter Martin (born. 1986, Liverpool) lives and works in Sheffield. Recent exhibitions include: Self Service, Biggins Brothers, Sheffield (2016) (solo); So, What do you do exactly?, Slam Projects, London (2016); The Listening Booth 2, Online (2016); Reciprocal Relations, Bloc Projects (2016); One Minute, Volume 8, ASC, Liverpool (2016); One Minute, Volume 8, Berlin (2016); I Can Read With My Eyes Shut, S1 Artspace, Sheffield (2015). Projects include: Visions Of The Future, Sheffield (2016); The Inventory, Abandon Normal Devices, Manchester (2012) and The Kinetic Trader, Headingly, Sheffield, Barnsley (2012)