Warm tributes paid to St Leonards artist

Danny Pockets
Danny Pockets

Warm tributes have been paid to an artist who died this week after an 18-month battle with cancer.

An award-winning artist based in St Leonards, Danny Pockets died on Monday, March 12 at the age of 53.

Paying tribute, friend Fiona Clarke said: “It is with deepest sadness that we announce that our beautiful friend Danny Pockets died peacefully, on Monday, with his family at his side.

“Danny was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the autumn of 2016 and for the last 18 months continued working, in spite of some very tough treatments, with determination and brilliance as a painter, curator, conceptual artist and photographer.”

Danny employed a variety of media in his work - from paint on canvas, recycled materials and chinagraph through to sound and light.

In 1995, he began work on ‘Congregation’, a series of paintings of shopfronts, abandoned amusement arcades, fairground rides and chip shops. From this work came the ‘Houses of the Holy’ paintings - perhaps his best-known works. The series, described as 'his tribute to the cathedrals of our rock ’n’ roll heritage', depicted music venues, dancehalls and clubs around the UK.

His work was popular both in the British and international art scenes, with his pieces appearing at major galleries including the Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Royal Academy of Arts as well as at the La Biennale di Venezia festival in Venice . He was awarded a Jerwood prize in 2010 for the exhibition ‘Arcadia’.

Danny continued creating after his diagnosis, with much of his work from this period appearing at a special exhibition at the Black Shed Gallery in May 2017. At the time his cancer had temporarily gone into remission.

Speaking to BBC South East about the exhibition Danny said: “It was nearly curtains but it wasn’t, so I’m not going to waste a minute of that time. Maybe I’ll play Scrabble online occasionally, but I’m not going to waste any other minutes.”

Work by Danny is to go on display at the Royal Albert Hall from Monday (March 19) as part of a week of Teenage Cancer Trust shows at the London venue.