Exhibition celebrates role of the garden shed in the creative industries

Friday, 13 May 2016

Shed Space

Art and architecture students from Oxford Brookes University have contributed to an exhibition that celebrates the role of the humble garden shed in the creative industries.

Artists and designers Jeni Burnell and Patrick Stimpson from the Oxford-based architectural practice Space Program Ltd, developed the concept for Shed Space with Arts and the Old Fire Station. 

Jeni Burnell, who is also a researcher at Oxford Brookes’ Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) said: “The humble garden shed has always featured as a backdrop in the creative industries being used by music composers and authors through to engineers and industrial designers.

“Recently the shed has undergone somewhat of a revival with people setting up home offices and creative escapes at the bottom of their garden. This exhibition celebrates that creativity and captures the enjoyment around such endeavours.”

Recently the shed has undergone somewhat of a revival with people setting up home offices and creative escapes at the bottom of their garden. This exhibition celebrates that creativity and captures the enjoyment around such endeavours.

Jeni Burnell, researcher, Oxford Brookes University

Central to the exhibition will be a full-size garden shed built within the Old Fire Station’s main gallery. Complete with green roof, the shed will become a workshop for visiting artists who will bring crafts such as basket making, knitting, card design, jewellery design, architectural model making and woodcarving in to the shed.  

Inside the shed installation will be an elaborate scale model of a garden scene, complete with 18 miniature sheds which are a mix of realistic and whimsical architectural designs developed with students from Oxford Brookes University. 

These sheds include a ‘Sweetie Shed’ designed by architecture student Katie Reilly who describes it as “An edible escape for children in a yummy playhouse at the bottom of the garden where imagination runs wild and friendships blossom.” Other mini sheds include ‘Bike Shed’ made from recycled bike parts including chains, cogs and spokes; ‘Nature Shed’ inspiring quiet contemplation under a canopy of woven willow; and ‘Exploding Shed’ which captures a shed taking shape after escaping from a small case. 

Shed Space will take place at Arts and the Old Fire Station in central Oxford between Friday 20 May and Saturday 2 July.