This week I finally got to see my work Tool Shed on exhibition at Snibston, a museum a few miles away from me. Apparently this work inspired the whole exhibition project, which is really nice to know. My work is exhibited in a purpose-built shed, inside the giant museum shed-style building. It’s great that my dad was able to come and see the work too and remember his dad, and those amazing sheds!
These pieces are based on the household and garden tools from my Grandad’s shed. He was a professional gardener from the age of 14 and carried on growing his own vegetables until his death in 2012 at the age of 96. His numerous sheds contained years of carefully-maintained and well-used tools and the essence of him. This collection uses outlines of his gardening and DIY tools stitched into his handkerchiefs, found neatly ironed and folded in the airing cupboard after his death. You can find out more here.
The show also includes two other artist sheds, rather different in character! Flights of fancy is a pigeon fancier’s fantasy shed by the wonderfully surreal team Mrs Smith who have a thing for both sheds and pigeons! The same artists created Tales of the Unfinishable which has been touring around the UK in the last year or two.
Core Shed is pretty hard to get your head round. I have read a little about it, so I was able to make some sense of it, but it has no text explanation at all, which is a huge mistake in a family-oriented, mostly science/engineering museum environment. In a fine art gallery visitors might engage with it more easily, but in this space it is adrift and pretty impenetrable. However, despite my misgivings about the appropriateness and interpretation, it is full of interesting bits and pieces which make nice photos.
The exhibition continues until 26th September.