Interim show


Our three week show ‘Rerun’ will be the first time we’ve exhibited the films from our live performances to a Grimsby audience which took place in Jan/Feb 2018.



Blip Breakfast- Rerun


The latest show at …blip, ‘Rerun’ sees the return of two one-hour performances that took place at 8 Victoria Street in January and February 2018.

…blip continue to question alternative uses of vacant spaces in Grimsby, while here and in towns up and down the country the high street faces it’s biggest challenge due to crippling austerity, the advance of online retail options and high business rates.

This time around, the earlier performances will feature in a film installation in our Grimsby Top Town window space.

It’s the first time the films have been shared with the people of Grimsby, who in fact feature in them, as the siting of the camera during filming switched the focus from the performing artists to the shoppers.

Marc: ‘I remember being quite nervous before our breakfast performance – particularly after quite a bit of negative feedback locally in response to our first installation. However, I was quite uplifted by the good-humoured response of passers-by on that grey Saturday morning. That performance seemed to fuel a realisation in the audience that art is allowed to be funny and needn’t feel threatening’

Opening times:

Week 1: Thurs 21st,  Fri 22nd and Sat 23rd Feb

Week 2: Thurs 28th, Fri 1st and Sat 2nd Feb/March

Week 3: Thurs 7th, Fri 8th and Sat 9th March.

Shutters up: 9am

Shutters down: 4pm


…blip – a space for art

8 Victoria Street


North East Lincolnshire

DN31 1DP


t: 07889710979



1. An unexpected, minor, and typically temporary deviation from a general trend.

…blip – a space for art is a transient intervention made possible by Vacant Space; a programme by Axisweb enabling artists, creatives and projects to access empty commercial properties across the UK.

…blip will host a series of window installations viewable from the street.

…blip is a collaboration between North East Lincolnshire artists Ellie Collins and M

…blip is a collaboration between North East Lincolnshire artists Ellie Collins and Marc Renshaw and London-based artist Tracey Payne.


Empty shops, Grimsby Telegraph Feb 19

The alarming number of shops that have closed in Grimsby but rise of independents shows hope for high street

Grimsby’s high street has seen a massive increase in hair and beauty service stores in recent years

Victoria Street in Grimsby on the day figures were revealed showing more than 30 shops in the town had closed in five years (Image: Rick Byrne)
The changing face of Grimsby’s high street has been revealed in a new report which shows the alarming number of stores that have closed in recent years.

As many as 33 stores vanished from the town’s high street between 2013 and 2018, with only 15 new stores taking up empty units over the same duration

However, the figures do give an insight into how the future of the town centre could look with local businesses taking over from traditional big high street brands.

An Office of National Statistics (ONS) report analysed British high streets to discover consumer’s shopping habits and map increases and decreases in certain store numbers, such as clothing, footwear, bookmakers, pubs and bars, among more.

North and North East Lincolnshire have seen a dramatic loss in value in just one year
More than 30 shops have closed in Grimsby town centre in five years (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

According to the data for Grimsby, charity and mobile phones stores were most in decline between 2013 and 2018, with tattoo parlours and hobby and sport equipment stores following closely behind.

However, there was a massive increase in hair and beauty service stores, with an extra seven now trading on Grimsby‘s high street.

The town centre has also welcomed one new convenience store, two takeaways and five cafés since 2013.

A spokesman for North East Lincolnshire Council said the figures showed how the town centre’s retail offering was changing.

He said: “The high street is changing across the country.

“More and more people shop online, but you can’t get your hair or nails done digitally.

“The high street needs to diversify, and it’s encouraging that shops are seeing the value of coming into the town centre.”

Town centre traders have also said the rise of the independents is good for Grimsby.

Scott Harries, joint owner of hair salon 74 West Ltd on Victoria Street, said: “Local people appear to like and support local businesses.”

Nationally, town centres across England and Wales have seen an eight per cent decrease on average in their high street store counts.

Having lost 23 per cent of its 415 stores in five years, Stoke-on-Trent saw the starkest decline in its number of high street stores.

Eastbourn, Blackpool, Southampton and Sheffield were also among the worst affected.

Changes to Grimsby’s high street

Decline: Changes to stores in Grimsby between 2013 to 2018

According to the Office of National Statistics’ results, Grimsby’s high street lost four clothing stores between 2013 and 2018.

These include Greenwoods, Sports Direct and BHS, which shut in 2016 but was replaced with Poundland and budget fashion chain Pep&Co in March 2018.

Decline: Changes to stores in Grimsby between 2013 to 2018

The high street has seen seven food and drink outlets disappear from Grimsby since 2013.

There has also been a reduction in its charity, phone and books and maps stores, with between three and four stores closing in each category.

Rise: Changes to stores in Grimsby between 2013 to 2018

While there has been no change to Grimsby’s bakeries and bookmakers, the number of hair and beauty service stores has risen by a massive seven.

There has also been a welcomed increase in cafés and convenience stores.

Why is the High Street in decline?

Almost one in five pounds were spent online over 2018 Christmas.

Last year’s Christmas saw the largest share of retail sales go to online stores, with Amazon announcing Cyber Monday as their “biggest shopping day in their 24-year history”

Despite these findings, when shoppers in Grimsby’s Freshney Place were asked “Will you be shopping in store or online this Christmas?”, they gave a 50-50 response.

Speaking at the time, Carol Crichton said: “I will be doing my Christmas shopping here in Grimsby.

“I have always done my shopping here rather than online because I like to know and look at what I’m getting.

Money spent online between 2012 and 2017

According to data by on the “Value of online retail sales in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2012 to 2017 (in billion GBP), shoppers in the UK have almost doubled their online transactions in six years.

2012 – £33bn

2013 – £38bn

2014 – £44bn

2015 – £52bn

2016 – £60bn

2017 – £67bn

“I have always done my Christmas shopping in Grimsby and this year will be no different.”

Whereas George Hine, 27, said: “I’ll probably do my shopping online because it’s easier. I don’t really have time to look around the shops.”

…Ellie Collins …blip breakfast film selected for Axisweb Streetplayer 


Location: 86 Kirkgate & Unit 63, Bishopgate, The Ridings, Wakefield

Axisweb is producing two as part of the Wakefield Artwalk on 30 January 2019. Both events are free and will be open 5-7.30pm.

86 Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 1TB.

Axisweb is pleased to announce Streetplayer, a showcase of exemplary film and moving image works created by our members. Showcased across our Vacant Space venues and digital platforms we seek to foster dialogue between artists and audiences, stimulating curiosity and providing a level of access that normally doesn’t exist.

Artists featured:
Joshua Armitage
Amelia Beavis-Harrison
Ellie Collins
Vincent James
Liam Jolly
Alison Lloyd
Jacek Ludwig Scarso
Lyndsay Martin
James Moore
Meng Zhou

The films will be shown through the window so will be accessible from the street.

We Will Never As Humans Be Able To See by Jo Clements.
Unit 63, Bishopgate, The Ridings Shopping Centre, Wakefield, WF1 1YD

Axisweb is pleased to announce our micro-commission winner Jo Clements and her project ‘We Will Never As Humans Be Able To See.’

“We Will Never As Humans Be Able To See 360° merges Jo Clements’ sculptural structures with virtual reality to create multi-layered, immersive, sensory environments. Artists Sam Ingleson and Steve Oliver were commissioned by Clements to create new digital content specifically for the project.”

The unit in the Ridings Shopping Centre is wheelchair accessible and the artwork is fully accessible for disabled users.


Axisweb Artists of The Month Dec 2018


We’re pleased to announce that we’ve been selected as axisweb artists of the month for December 2018…


For December’s Artist of the Month we’ve selected Ellie Collins and Marc Renshaw who, as well as having their own artistic practices, collaborate together on ‘…Blip: a space for Art’.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your practice, how would you describe the work that you do?


My work often begins with writing and this becomes the catalyst for sound, film and objects that invite touch. The end result is usually an immersive installation that responds to the original narrative. The sensory nature of lived embodiment is a continuing theme and I’m interested in embracing futility and failure in pursuit of something ever richer, more abstruse and irregular.

At …blip the work is viewed through glass so it’s at a physical remove from the audience as they walk by on the street. This has forced a departure as it places limitations on my usual work, so I’ve needed to adopt a more conceptual approach.


Drawing has been central to my practice for many years. I’ve always had a compulsion to create images that I often combine with text. I’m constantly engaged in making artwork, and have in recent years used digital drawing processes increasingly as a primary tool of trade.

Themes such as loss, success and failure weave their way in and out of my practice where drawing serves an autobiographical or cathartic function.
I’m drawn to non-places and nowhere spaces; transitional zones such as business parks, airports, motorways and service stations in the futile hope that they will somehow provide a neutral platform in which to immerse oneself in the emptiness of failed capitalism.

I dream of being able to pull over at the M180 Services here in North Lincolnshire, to grab a coffee, open up the laptop, make an illustration for a high-end corporation, sit back and watch the dividends flow into my bank account. Of course I know this will never happen, but I still have hope…

How does collaborating benefit your practices?


…blip is the first formal collaboration we’ve shared with an audience in the 23 years since we met. That’s not to say we haven’t ever worked jointly, we do it in the form of a series of ongoing and evolving conversations that help us reflect and develop our work.


Our most enduring shared-project is Brinks, conceived from the perspective that an artist’s job is to notice things. Brinks are the things we see every day on our commute to and from work. Grunge Girl, the wonky lamp post, the illuminated bollard on the edge of the village that outstayed its time, the man and dog who seem unusually affected by gravity, Musical Road… Brinks are born of a desire to stop time as we confront the sense of loss derived from knowing that ‘now’ will inevitably become ‘then’.



Tell us about …Blip: A Space for Art. How did it start and what type of projects do you do as part of the space?


…blip began when we saw that Axisweb had a couple of available Vacant Spaces in Grimsby. We went to look at the shop with a really open mind. When we learned more about Vacant Space we liked the totally flexible nature of the arrangement, with no fixed terms of engagement or specified outcomes. This has enabled us to work completely intuitively.


A year on, we’ve shown six installations, all of which have been activated in some way, from inflating and deflating sculpture to film, sound and stop-motion animation. We collaborated early on with London-based artist Tracey Payne whose urban perspective gave us fresh insight into the valuable role of an inexperienced art audience. We’ve since done some live performances and these have particularly engaged passers-by, creating a dynamic that privileges the viewer while framing the artists.



Tell us more about Ridgewell & Ducklop Property Services


In a recent study by the Royal Society for Public Health, Grimsby was ranked the unhealthiest high street in Britain. …blip is located on Victoria Street South, a once desirable shopping area known locally as ‘Top Town’, where a steep economic decline has seen the closure of many established businesses and a rise in the number of bookmakers, pawnbrokers and fast food outlets.

We’d already questioned the property’s potential uses in the future through live performance so it seemed fitting that its next manifestation should be an estate agent to market itself and some of the many other commercial properties that are standing empty.


Since taking on …blip we’ve thought a lot about the building’s history. From conversations with an archaeologist for the local council we know it was formerly a butcher’s shop. A local shopper told us she worked there when it was a hairdressing salon in the Sixties and more recently it was a ladies outfitter.

Ridgewell and Ducklop has been our collaborative name-in-waiting for several years and it happened to be a perfect fit for a pseudo property management service.

Image 5


What sort of reactions have you had from the inhabitants of Grimsby?


The first few installations we showed were a bit impenetrable and decontextualized for an audience completely unused to encountering contemporary art. We received quite a lot of hostile trolling online as a result of sensational local press coverage.

Over time we’ve increasingly chosen to use the shop and its contents as our concept and resource and the public gradually seem less resistant. Obviously repeated exposure to anything is desensitizing, so the fact that …blip’s been present for well over a year means people have become accustomed to seeing the art and hopefully are more receptive.


The advantage of showing work through the window is that there are no strings attached, people don’t risk feeling self-conscious or daunted by crossing a threshold and as a consequence many people are happy to look, ask questions or give an opinion at street level. Several projects have been purposefully humorous and self-deprecating, making them more digestible.

We’ve also had several messages from former Grimsby residents with an interest in art, who’d read a piece about the future of Grimsby in The Guardian that featured …blip, had come across our blog or saw Marc’s regular posts on social media. These contacts have an acute awareness of Grimsby’s socio-economic problems and an enduring interest in its ongoing fortune. These messages were really unexpected and helped motivate us at times when an apparent lack of local receptivity was pretty unrewarding.

What have you got coming up?


Our projects have become increasingly focused on the adversity facing Grimsby’s town-centre, its unused buildings and the hope for a brighter future.

One of our performances this year (Art/Work ball) questioned the seeming dichotomy of art and work in a community where cultural opportunities are scant and employment is tenuous, with low pay and zero-hours contracts having replaced secure plentiful employment in the former thriving fishing industry. It could be argued that the least concern of Grimsby’s general population is their cultural diet.

The presence of …blip is a reminder that the potential for a place can be limited by imagination, but that people’s ideas count for something and that daily life and art aren’t mutually exclusive.


We have no firm plan for what’s next, as …blip is inherently intuitive and ever more responsive to news and events in the local area. Our proposition is simply the definition of ‘blip’ – to be an unexpected, minor, and typically temporary deviation from a general trend.

More information

Ellie Collins on Axisweb >

Marc Renshaw on Axisweb >