Timed to coincide with the opening of the newly built pier in Hastings, Lucy Bell Gallery is proud to present "Phoenix Arcadia", an exhibition of paintings by renowned artist Danny Pockets. Danny Pockets has been working out of his studios in St Leonards for a decade, originally based in London, his work has been exhibited in major contemporary galleries, including Tate Modern and Tate Britain, The Foundry , The Nunnery, Red, Scream Editions, Underdog, The De La Warr and The Towner Gallery.
The two main works in this show, are the "Phoenix Arcadia" paintings, made as part of The Jerwood South Coast Prize which Pockets won in 2010. The award enabled him to make these pieces, inspired by Eugenius Birch's "Peerless Pier".
A month before the show opened the Pier was set fire to. Devastated, Pockets almost called the show off,then realised, as the flames died down, that the charcoal from the debris that had washed up along the shore, could be used in his work. Nearly all the works in the show use charcoal from the old Pier as a structural tool in the design, drawing and making of the pieces.
With the Pier as the main focus of the exhibition, Pockets has travelled along the coastline of Sussex and Kent exploring the British seaside's identity. He has travelled the coast in 50 miles East and West, focusing on his fascination with the architecture of leisure: the engineering of the pier, abandoned watchtowers and amusement arcades, the Chip shops and Novelty concessions and fairground rides. Brighton, Camber, Dover, Margate et al. The show will feature paintings and prints made especially for the gallery.
"Danny Pockets’ work is an aggregation of forms and ideas that transcend the material from which they are constructed. His framework is the inhabited environment, his work a diary of transition, displacement and the palimpsest of our surroundings. Employing a variety of media from paint on canvas to sound and light Pockets' art emerges from his highly developed studio practice. He is a collector of moments in passing. His artworks chart a culture in movement, observe the cancellations left as the landscape remodels itself, objects that slowly rise to the surface in the wake of these late days of Capitalism, the post-modern sublime. A blue bag flutters in a tree, a quiet voice hums a tune as it passes us in the street and overhead a bulb flickers to intermittently illuminate the disappearing typology of our streets. Pockets documents and asks us to regard and observe this beauty before such things are lost forever. His is a love affair with the fragility of existence"
Steve Smith. Artist and Doctoral Researcher University of Westminster.