Lookoutpost...

Scattered throughout the U.K. are numerous “strategic” sites. W.W.II pillboxes, initially built as part of the defence of Great Britain; as much a confidence boost for those at home than a strategic military defence tactic for the greater war effort.

Despite the fact that the original intention for these structures has long since been made redundant and that many of those that once kept watch from within are no longer with us, a vast number of the sites still remain, being gradually swallowed up by the urban sprawl or submerged beneath the encroaching thicket as man and nature do battle for the green belt.

Many of the structures have taken on new roles reflecting sociopolitical trends within the immediate locality. From cattle feed sheds within the countryside to teenage hangouts - a refuge for illicit drink and drugs or quaint summer houses within suburban gardens.

Many remain as derelict forgotten structures being reclaimed by time and nature, reflecting the rapidly fading memories of the volunteers that once kept watch. The pillboxes remain as markers reflecting the changing use of the landscape encouraged by industrial upheavals within the previous six decades. The loss of many of our railway lines abandoning some of the pillboxes in uncertain and clumsy locations. Areas of “non-space” that would seem to have little or no strategic relevance to the contemporary landscape. Human-scale camera obscuras they look inwards at a readymade history whilst looking outwards towards an uncertain future yet silently holding a constant vigil upon our beaches and within our towns and countryside.

 

 

Lookoutpost is an ongoing nationwide participatory
project. The aim of which is to develop a collective
of artists working within a common motif. Artists
are invited to respond to these “strategic” sites,
document the response and forward the documentation
for inclusion onto the website as well as future
group exhibitions


Site locations are derived from the Defence of
Britain database available through the Archaeology
Data Service website.