Alan Hockett uses his artistic practice to explore marginal landscapes. These are areas that with industrial decline have fallen into disuse and dereliction and are now slowly being reclaimed by the forces of nature.
He is fascinated with how communities use their ‘turf,’ how industry and people control the land and how it looks. From coast to towns, humans have left their mark. It’s these marks or traces that tell the history of man and his attempts at controlling nature. Walking the length of the Essex coastline, Alan used a homemade pinhole camera to revaluate the way we view the coast.
He has collaborated with artist Stuart Bowditch and local residents to search for and record myths and legends that had been almost forgotten which were then reinterpreted and uploaded to the website www.essexmeme.co.uk Alan has also transformed a number of architectural spaces into camera obscura. These have included a medieval barn, an eighteenth century church porch, a beach hut on the Southend sea front, and lastly, the viewing room on top of a Martello tower. Each space was open to the public and it dramatically changed their experience of both the interior space and the exterior view.
He has over ten years experience of public engagement through his work as a professional artist. He has worked with diverse groups such as young unmarried mothers, NEETS and young people on the autistic spectrum. Alan collaborates with the participants so that they can develop their own way of working. All of this public engagement work then filters through to inform his practice.