The Artist's Journey

22 February
@ Sheffield Hallam University

Free & open to all


Being an artist can take you to places you never thought were possible, but the paths are unclear and the maps complicated.

This day’s conference will take us on a trip that treads the routes that artists take, goes back to places we have all been before, and shares the picnics along the way, to help us to plan our next excursions.

The Artist’s Journey will share the experience of a number of artists who have a range of practices and approaches, and who continue to plot a course for their development. The talks and discussions will illustrate the diversity of approaches, and critical choices artists might take to make their work sustainable, workable and sit comfortably with their intentions.

This day is about looking at the substance, criticality, methods, brilliance, humour and strategies that artists use to establish themselves and to work out what we need more of, or what is missing. What does ‘continuing professional development’ mean and how can we create advocacy to make sure that artists are supported in a way that has effect.

This is the launch of a new partnership between Yorkshire & Humber Visual Arts Network (YVAN) and Sheffield Institute of Arts (SIA); Sheffield Hallam University.
This initial event is a precursor for a planned collaboration between YVAN and SHU to deliver a two-year pilot programme providing continuing professional development support for individual artists and small-scale, artist-led collectives and organisations in Yorkshire & Humber, addressing (but not limited to) recent graduates and early career practitioners.

Both YVAN and SIA have identified a need for continuing support for recent graduates and early career practitioners. The partnership will build on support, guidance and critical discussion, offered as part of existing courses, and compliment continuing professional development through partnership arts organisations. This will provide a rich, informed and sustainable way forward to enhance the many different routes we might take to establish ourselves as artists.


YVAN works to be a voice and advocate for the visual arts sector in Yorkshire & Humber, delivering a programme that effects change in the profile, reputation and sustainability of the visual arts and artists in Yorkshire & Humber, and is part of the national Contemporary Visual Arts Network.

SIA is an amazing, diverse community of makers – where staff, students and partners work as equals to deliver real innovation and creativity. Sheffield is home to the UK’s largest practising community of artists and designers outside London, bringing a constant flow of creative energy and activity. Our institute is an integral part of the vibrant and creative city of Sheffield and has a well established professional development programme.

This conference is developed by Sheffield Hallam University and Yorkshire and Humber Visual Arts Network (YVAN) with additional support from Bloc Projects and Yorkshire Artspace. The Artist’s Journey forms part of Making Ways, a new programme supported by Sheffield Culture Consortium through Arts Council England to showcase, celebrate and develop the exceptional contemporary visual art produced in the city.

ArchiveBloc ProjectsEvent, 2018