Often responding to the socio-political, historical and human attributes of a given site, Shaun instigates long-term collaborative projects that are realised across different mediums, from local community actions to large-scale sculptural installations. Notable projects include, I’M STAYING (2014 to present), MORNING (2014 to 2018) and PLOT (2018 to present).
Between 2014 and 2018 Shaun moved back to Basildon, Essex where he began to re-explore his birth town with a particular interest in the local history from the plotlands to the New Town experiment. The plotlanders were a radical DIY community who acquired plots of land through auction after the agricultural depression in the late 19th century, building weekend retreats and homes through alternative processes and local salvaged materials. The plotlanders often held ‘back to the land’ ambitions realised through smallholdings that included vegetable plots and farm animals. In 1949 Basildon was designated as a New Town; an act that led to the compulsory purchase and demolition of the plotlands. Shaun initially began exploring old plotland sites in Laindon, which led to discovering old wells, foundations and bricks embedded in the ground. Shaun has collaborated with Basildon Heritage and Laindon District and Community Archive, including Nina Humphrey who was a plotland child.
The PLOT project currently includes a series of paintings, briquette making workshops, research panels, sculptures, digital work, a road sign, lectern and recently a podcast. These pieces of work attempt to further understand and facilitate discussion around the plotland history while also considering what their story can tell us about current issues of land ownership, displaced communities, local politics, the self-build movement, and artist projects that re-address our relationship with land, agriculture and each other. Shaun has been developing a new body of work titled PLOT: Water Laid for Estuary 2021.