Scott Hocking – The Strange Allure of His Emergency Ark In The Middle Of A Cornfield

You may not even notice it at first. You’re driving along a country road enjoying the sites of grazing animals, crops emerging and fields broken by windbreaks provided by trees planted long ago. Then you spot it. The Ark of Scott Hocking’s larger-than-life creation.

Who Is Scott Hocking?

Scott Hocking is an artist based in Detroit, Michigan. He is known for his site-specific installations and sculptures, often created from found objects and detritus. Hocking’s work frequently engages with the history and physical landscape of Detroit, creating a dialogue between past, present, and potential futures.

Hocking has created several notable installations in abandoned spaces and ruins throughout Detroit. One of his most recognized projects is the “Egg” installation at Detroit’s Packard Automotive Plant, where he stacked wooden barrels into a massive egg shape.

His work often combines elements of mythology, symbol, and ritual with the contemporary urban landscape. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally and is one of the key figures of the Detroit art scene.

Born in Redford Township, Michigan in 1975, Hocking has lived and worked in Detroit since 1996. His artwork is shown internationally, including exhibitions at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Cranbrook Art Museum, the Art Chicago, the Kunst-Werke Institute.Gallery Detroit. Museum of Contemporary Kunsthalle Wien, and Susanne Hilberry Gallery Detroit

Barn Art in the Fields of Michigan’s Upper Thumb

The grey timber looks warped and wrapped. The old planks, taken from the virgin forests that once dominated the thumb have been intertwined. What was once a working farm building is now an art form. It sits among debris from decades of agriculture work. A rope is draped along a fieldstone wall.

Artist Scott Hocking dreates site-specific sculptural installations and photography projects, often using found materials and abandoned locations. Inspired by everything from ancient mythologies to current events, his installations focus on transformation, ephemerality,  chance, and discovering beauty through the cycles of nature.

The artist notes on his work

The Celestial Ship of the North (Emergency Ark), Also known as the Barnboat is a site-specific installation and permanent sculpture in the farmlands of Michigan’s Thumb. Based on ideas of ancient vessels, duality, alchemical symbolism, destruction myths, and deluge stories, and shaped by the site’s history and incredibly consistent winds.

Based on ideas of ancient vessels, duality, alchemical symbolism, destruction myths, and deluge stories, and shaped by the site’s history and incredibly consistent winds, the Barnboat was built over the course of 3 months, and made entirely from the beams and boards of a collapsing 1890s barn that stood in its place. Built on the Goretzki farmland, the Ship will continue to decay, just as the barn it was made from did.” 

Scott Hocking

The work has several titles The Barnboat, The Celestial Ship of the North, and Emergency Ark. The Emergency Ark was completed by sculpturing artist Scott Hocking in 2015. He has transformed an 1800s barn into a large object denoting sanctuary and safety. The Ark can be found about a mile south of Oak Beach on Oak Beach road and Fehner.

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Michael Hardy

Mike Hardy is the owner of Thumbwind Publications LLC. It started in 2009 as a fun-loving site covering Michigan's Upper Thumb. Since then, he has authored a vast range of content and established a loyal base of 60,000 visitors per month.

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