Ben Jeans Houghton
Bloc Projects, Sheffield
Jan (new date?)
2ndlife is a single channel film embedded in an installation at Bloc Projects in Sheffield.
2ndlife is the second UK solo show by Ben Jeans Houghton.
2ndlife is a first person film essay that uses the places and protagonists encountered on an inner and outer journey to and through Japan, to constellate a self reflexive narrative discussing perspectives on the history, philosophy and reality of suicide. The roving point of view camera embarks from the North East of England and travels to the metropolis of Tokyo, through the Zen gardens of Kyoto before reaching Aokigahara Forest at the base of Mt. Fuji. The films animistic narratives afford personhood and give voice to places, objects, animals and the Internet in dialogue with the inner monologue of the protagonist. Throughout the film makes reference to mythology, folklore, cyberspace and dreamstates as it takes the viewer on a chronological journey through person and place whilst mapping the emotional terain and magnetism of the existential.
Free Hand Creative Sessions are a space to be creative, for people living with depression and anxiety. Free Hand aims to provide peer support through creative activity.
Free Hand holds regular creative sessions at CADS & has pop ups at different events around Sheffield. Each week we set a different task, technique or theme to the session, all materials are supplied, attendees will be given guidance but the structure is very informal and casual. Attendees are free to work on personal projects in the space as well, sometimes it can be a bit like the gym, it can be easier to work when you have a dedicated time and space.
F%+K Depression Make Stuff is an exhibition of work produced during a series of Free Hand Creative Sessions around Sheffield.
Hanover Project Research Group Inaugural Exhibition comprises work by artists David Alker, Craig Atkinson, Andy Broadey, Lindsey Bull, Victoria Lucas, David Mackintosh, Andrew McDonald, Mark Parkinson, Maeve Rendle and Heather Ross.
Hanover Project Research Group has been recently formed by Fine Art staff from the University of Central Lancashire: academics and artists who have both taught together and jointly ran the University’s art gallery, Hanover Project. This show marks the beginning of a conversation amongst the group about relationships be- tween their research, art practice and teaching; they hope, too, that it will allow them to develop connections and potential collaborations with the wider artistic community here in Sheffield, as well as in their Preston base and further afield, and, of course, to make their work available to the public.
The works on show include photography, painting, sculpture, and video.
THIS IS NOW: FILM AND VIDEO AFTER PUNK is a major new touring programme rediscovering key underground films from the post-punk era in the UK (1978–85).
Bloc Projects are pleased to host parts II – IV of a four part screening programme selected by Lux and Martin Clark for Art Sheffield 2016. Part I will take place at The Showroom Cinema with special introductiuon by Lux Special Prohgrammes Curator Nicole Yip.
“The early 1980s saw an explosion in alternative and independent moving image production. Clubbers, art students, new romantics and members of the post-punk scene used cheap domestic technologies to subvert the mainstream media and to find new modes of expression. Independent VHS tapes were released, stridently bypassing censorship, and Super 8 film was embraced as a cheap yet lyrical new medium. The DIY approach of punk was powerfully reborn.
Artists defied conventional ideas about how film should be made and who should make them. Female, gay and black filmmakers pushed forward; squatting flats, clubbing and developing new styles and techniques together. Derek Jarman collaborators, John Maybury and Cerith Wyn Evans experimented with Super 8, casting friends Leigh Bowery and Siouxsie Sioux in fragmented, dreamlike scenarios. Isaac Julien and Grayson Perry explored the politics of cultural and personal representation, and major pop video director Sophie Muller (Beyoncé, Rihanna, The Strokes) printed and layered images on 16mm.
THIS IS NOW celebrates the diversity of independent moving image production from the UK in the 1980s, a unique moment when cheap new technologies enabled new voices to be heard. A new aesthetic developed that would shape the look of film, television, fashion and music for many years to come. The BFI National Archive has restored twenty Super 8 and 16mm films from this period and the majority of titles are presented for the first time in over three decades. Developed over several years, these programmes revisit a key period in the cultural life of the UK and reflect on the currency that this work has with internet video and artist filmmaking today.”
William Fowler, Curator of Artists’ Moving Image, BFI National Archive.
This is Now has been developed by LUX in partnership with the BFI National Archive.
Artist Nicola Ellis will be making a brand new work inspired by Sheffield’s historic steel industry and the gallery’s previous usage as a grinding shed by Granton Knives. The final exhibition in a touring project, More room
for error is set to open at Bloc Projects, Sheffield at the end of the month.
The final phase of More room for error reflects the research that she has been conducting over the past 6-months,
meeting and speaking with local historians and knife grinders to learn about the techniques and tools that were and are
now currently used in the city. Dissecting the gallery, Ellis’s new work will employ traditional techniques and skills to
respond to the architecture of the gallery space.
Within More room for error, Ellis looks at material components that are often intentionally hidden in structures and
spaces. Exposing the weld or stitch between materials and highlighting their imperfections, her work questions underlying
assumptions around the functions and roles of different objects and materials in architectural space.
Much of the focus within the project is based around Ellis’ investigations into metalworking, with a particular concentration
on welding or joining steel. Ellis has studied, researched and learnt the industry standard rules, which she has then gone on
to question, dissect and divert into a methodology for creating art works. The results of this investigation, mixed with acts
of ‘play’ and interpretations of space, offer an opportunity for us to consider the relations between what is sculpture and
what is structure.
More room for error is a touring exhibition of new works by artist Nicola Ellis examining the physical join between
objects and the space they inhabit. Commissioned and curated by Mark Devereux Projects, the project visited
Arcadecardiff (Cardiff) in May and &Model (Leeds) until 19 September. Complementing the exhibition, Mark Devereux
Projects have commissioned a new publication featuring an essay by &Model Director Derek Horton and works made
during the project.
More room for error is funded by Arts Council England and has been developed, supported and commissioned by Mark
Devereux Projects, with thanks for support from Eltec Engineering Services, Littoral, Arcadecardiff, &Model and Bloc
Projects. Nicola Ellis is represented by Mark Devereux Projects.
More room for error launches at Bloc Projects, Sheffield on Thursday 27 August and continuing until 12 September. For
further details about the exhibitions, accompanying events and galleries opening times please visit
– ENDS –
For further information and press quality images please contact Elizabeth West at:
E: firstname.lastname@example.org | T: @MDP_info
Thursday 27 August, 6-8pm: Launch of More room for error – open to all
Saturday 12 September, 10am – 12pm: One-to-one mentoring and advice sessions for Sheffield-based early-career visual
artists with Mark Devereux and Nicola Ellis. FREE but booking essential at markdevereuxprojects.com.
Saturday 12 September, 2 – 4pm: Artist talk with Nicola Ellis and curator Mark Devereux. FREE no booking necessary.
Nicola Ellis | nicolaellis.com
Nicola Ellis graduated from the Manchester School of Art in 2011 with an MA in Fine Art. Her work recently featured in
exhibitions including: You won’t see that bit anyway (solo exhibition), 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe, UK, (2014);
Head to Head: Nicola Ellis and Aura Satz, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, UK (2013); Part of the Programme, FAFA
Gallery, Helsinki (2012); and Cabedal, Plataforma Revolver, Lisbon (2012). Nicola Ellis is represented by Mark Devereux
Mark Devereux Projects | markdevereuxprojects.com
Mark Devereux Projects supports visual artists through mentoring, critical dialogue and curatorial production. Each
practitioner’s artistic and career development is paramount, as the organisation provides bespoke guidance, information
and opportunities. Our vision is to increase the provision for bespoke support to visual artists during the transition from
early to mid-career. We do this in two ways: by working on long-term professional development and production projects
through our funded represented artists programme; and by providing one-to-one mentoring, critical dialogue and
exhibition opportunities within our open MDP Associates programme. Through collaboration from external partners and
individuals, Mark Devereux Projects aims to bring artists, galleries, collectors and audiences closer.
Bloc Projects | blocprojects.co.uk | 71 Eyre Lane, Sheffield, S1 4RB
Opening times: Wed – Sat 12 – 6pm
Bloc Projects is an artist-led project space in the centre of Sheffield, UK. We present and commission exhibitions, events,
residencies, exchange projects and educational activity in our gallery and courtyard. Established in 2002, the organisation
provides a platform for early-mid career artists to develop new work and present work to new audiences. Our
programme encourages experimentation and invites critical dialogue among artists and audiences.
MSB2015 Open Studio 2 features new work by members of Castlefield Gallery Associates (Manchester), Bloc Projects (Sheffield) and Extra Special People (Birmingham).
This is the second part of a three-part residency exchange focused on providing opportunities for making work in quick, experimental contexts, developing conversations with other practitioners and opening opportunities for collaboration. The series of residencies is designed to develop the practices of the participating artists by providing them with critical input and opportunities to experiment, collaborate, develop their networks nationally, make new work and exhibit.
The artists exhibiting will be: Peter Bourne, Sandra Bouguerch, Sophie Bullock, Roger Bygott, Claire Davies, Niall Gormley, Lisa Denyer, Jenny Drinkwater, Rachael Hand, Jane Lawson, Rebecca Ounstead, Helen Stratford, Lea Torp Nielson and Claire Tindale.
The third part of the exchange takes place at Stryx in Birmingham from 3rd to 7th August.
Image features work in progress during MSB2015 Open Studio 1, Manchester, June 2015.
From 13 June 2015
Norwich-based artist and Bloc Projects member James Epps created a new painted work in situ across a series of five covered windows on the exterior the Bloc Studios building, adjacent to the Bloc Projects gallery. The work is a development of a Bloc Billboard proposal and continues Epps’ ongoing expansion of his two-dimensional works into sculpture, installations and site-responsive, temporal pieces.
Epps works with a range of materials to develop his murals and paintings, including various types of tape, paint and found items often used in relief. Here On In continues across the five painted panels as one work, with the intention of bringing the spaces between them and the building they are housed by into the composition of the work.
James Epps graduated with BA Fine Art from Norwich University College of the Arts in 2009. His recent exhibitions include Just Like That (solo exhibition), OUTPOST, Norwich 2014; Oriel Davies Open, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown, 2014; Creekside Open, London, 2013 and Savorr V, 8 Redwell Street, Norwich, 2012. He was selected for the Escalator Retreat Homework at Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge in 2011.
Artworks encouraging people to vote in the general election will be installed on billboards around the UK as part of the Vote Art campaign. Bloc Projects’ Bloc Billboard will show Jeremy Deller’s contribution to the project.
The project, which aims to use art to inspire the British public to the ballot box on 7th May, successfully raised almost £7,000 in March and April through a crowdfunding campaign on the Art Fund’s Art Happens platform. These additional funds have enabled the scale of the project to be doubled; it will now reach an estimated 200,000 people from 21 advertising sites in towns and cities across the country.
Bob & Roberta Smith, Fatima Begum, Janette Parris and Jeremy Deller have each created a new work especially for the project, and first-time-voter Jordan Alex Smith joins them as Vote Art’s fifth artist after winning a national competition for 18-23 year olds.
Matthew Couper, project director for Vote Art said:
“If you’re an artist or interested in culture, you care about expressing yourself. Surely one of the most basic but vital forms of self-expression is the act of voting and making a choice about the people who lead the country. We hope the artwork created will inspire people to vote, to think about creativity and to appreciate some outstanding creative practice.”
Of the campaign, Jeremy Deller said:
“Political parties put up posters asking you to vote for them; we are putting up posters, just asking you to vote. Elections are a once-in-every-five-year opportunity for everyone to make a choice, and I think we should take the chance by the horns. Youth of Britain – rise up and vote!”
The project is being supported by Arts Council England and the Art Fund.
An exhibition of the works runs at Peckham Platform (89 Peckham High Street, London SE15 5RS) runs until Thursday 7 May 2015 (Open Wed–Fri: 11am–6pm / Sat–Sun: 10am–5pm)
Peckham Platform is a creative and educational charity based in a gallery on Peckham Square, SE15. It became independent at the start of 2014 and was awarded Arts Council national portfolio funding six months later. As an organisation it believes that communities can inform and shape their engagement with their locality by working with contemporary visual artists. Its programme of commissions creates meaningful and accessible social arts practice for Peckham and beyond, providing an expansive platform for different voices and debate and bringing contemporary social practice alive.
Art Happens is the UK’s only crowd-funding platform for the museum sector. As of 27 February 2015 it had received over £100,000 in contributions, from over 1,000 donations. Unlike other commercial crowd-funding platforms, the Art Fund absorbs all associated costs for organisations that take part, and takes no commission – so all fund raised go straight to the participating projects. For more information please visit www.artfund.org/arthappens
London based Louisa Martin’s The Lighthouse is a series of short videos whose themes and characters are interlinked, brought together to form a single work. The videos explore the absent or invisible body as a site of potential, exploring how the mechanisms of filmed performance enable the simultaneous construction and concealment of identity, and synthetic forms of intimacy.
The body double, the dancer, mimicry and lip-synching, costume and prosthetics all feature in order to explore the effects of living through digital selves on our subjective, internal sense of the sensual, material, bodily self – each video representing a psychological state.
The Lighthouse functions as an extended metaphor, or pataphor, for the internal space of the protagonist, and for the constructed space of video projection – an isolated and floating heterotopia for imaginary and impossible alternatives, in which the self only exists when performatively invoked.
The videos were shot over the course of one year in constructed sets with minimal crew and were choreographed in collaboration with dancer Kyrie Oda.
The exhibition is supported by Arts Council England. The first two videos in the series were commissioned by Whitstable Biennale.
Residency and solo exhibition
Rebecca Ounstead works predominantly in sculpture and performance to experiment with the manipulation of materials and the arrangement of objects with a playful and almost fetishistic approach. Exploring the potentials of these materials and their altered states and fuctions, Ounstead examines the translation of object into ornament, painting into pattern and fabric into framework while executing her sculptures with close attention to finish to emulate the products, environments and ideologies associated with indulgent lifestyles. Ounstead’s installations form a dialogue between objects, which are often activated through the movement of performers or simply through their material states – a surface painted with a substance that that will never dry, fabric blown towards a glossy surface just out of its reach, Egyptian cotton soaked with water or swathes of organza draped against steel.
For her solo exhibition at Bloc Projects, Ounstead will present new work developed during a four week residency in the gallery. This annual residency forms part of our membership scheme.
Rebecca Ounstead is based in Nottingham, UK, and graduated from Nottingham Trent University with BA (Hons) Fine Art in 2012. She has recently completed a residency in the Netherlands at Hotel Maria Kapel and has exhibited as part of Take a Bite of Peach, Attic, Nottingham, 2014; Surfacing, Hand in Glove, Bristol, 2014; Seven, Primary, Nottingham 2013 and Exeter Phoenix Open, Exeter, 2013.
Bloc Projects commissioned Studio Polpo to create a new mobile and adjustable storage and workstation unit for their gallery space.
The project was designed to answer a space saving need for the Bloc Projects’ main space to be versatile in housing a small office or meeting arrangement, a range of storage items and the temporary display of Bloc Shop items among other things, without being compromised in its primary function as a gallery space.
The resulting Bloc Objects are a series of furniture pieces that work together or separately in numerous configurations, depending on how the gallery space is being used.
Studio Polpo experimented with Hi-Macs solid surface and its ability to be joined invisibly to create a seamless and solid block of material, and in their design process visited the workshops of Preston’s We Are Limitless Limited (W.A.L.L) to explore how the material can be manipulated. The finished furniture pieces can be connected into each other to create seamless white solids while alternative viewing points and arrangements reveal a rougher OSB inner lining, an effect that subverts the convention of hiding of supporting timber structures within solid surfaces creates a contrast in texture and colour. Their design addressed the need for functionality, flexibility and simplicity within the gallery spaces while incorporating an aspect of investigation and surprise.
Made byW.A L L and displaying a high degree of craftsmanship, the objects play with perceptions of what is smooth or rough, expensive or cheap and and synthetic or natural.
The HI-MACS Solid surface was provided by James Latham, who provided a degree of sponsorship through reduced material costs.
3-6 October sees the opening weekend of Art Sheffield 2013, bringing together new commissions, exhibitions and performances by international, UK and Sheffield-based artists at locations across the city. This year’s festival exhibition Zero Hours is combined with, for the first time, a parallel programme of independent exhibitions and events.
Site Gallery will be showcasing the work of three artists including Mikhail Karikis’ new film Children of Unquiet, which is a collaboration with a group of children living in near-abandoned labourers’ villages below the geo-thermal factories of The Devil’s Valley in Northern Italy. Urs Fischer’s Money Bowl invites audiences to exchange small change, mixing defunct coins together with today’s currency, highlighting the transitory values of the currency system that international market forces depend upon. The legacy of artists working within industry is explored in a presentation of sculpture by Garth Evans, which he developed following a residency with the British Steel Corporation. Personal photographs and documents from Tate’s Artist Placement Group archives accompany the work and tell the administrative story of his experience.
In addition to our usual hours we will be open on Sunday 6 October, 11-6pm.
To see the full listings please visit www.artsheffield.org