House of Pies by Danny Pockets
House of Pies by Danny Pockets

Artist Danny Pockets’ latest exhibition at the blackShed gallery comes in the midst of a hard -fought battle with pancreatic cancer. Thomas Bartlett, fellow artist and friend of Pockets, reviews the show.

The large, imposing ‘Victory Cafe’ and the ‘Go Gay’ paintings are what grab your attention when you step in the door of the blackShed gallery. With the brash, messy style, vicious splashes of colour and texture and seriously accomplished painting skills, there is no doubt that you are stepping into the vibrant world of Danny Pockets.

There is something familiar about every piece of work, due to the fact that Pockets is a master at representing the places and situations that make up the wallpaper of our lives. From the Bermuda Blue carrier bags that litter our streets and adorn our trees to the gaudy neon street signs down the seedy alleys we all know and love, Pockets reminds us of the ridiculous beauty and sense of belonging and comfort that we get when we are in familiar surroundings.

Of course his painting style is not something I would describe as ‘beautiful’. It is brilliantly messy and reeks of the energy he puts into it. Beautiful chaos, but chaos that has been meticulously crafted by a master of the paint. This is particularly evident in the familiar sight of all the brutal bulldozers that litter the fishing beach, slowly rusting and still as ever against the constantly moving backdrop of boats, cliffs and beaches.

And this whole show has been made under the black cloud that is pancreatic cancer. I can’t think of many people who would be able to have that thrown at them and then have the drive and sheer bloody mindedness to pick themselves up and give the biggest two fingered salute to cancer. This is a must see show and I know Pockets…he’s got character and fight in abundance, so I’m already looking forward to seeing the next show and the one after that and the one after that…Long live Danny Pockets.

‘BLLDZR: and other drifts’ will be on show at the blackShed gallery, Robertsbridge between the 22nd April and the 3rd June 2017. For further information please visit www.theblackshedgallery.org.uk.