Shedding Enterprise was a group project about metamorphoses. We created a new space that could be occupied out of rejected artworks donated mainly by students at Hertfordshire University as well as a few works donated by a well known local artist. The theme of rejected artwork has been visited by artists such as Martin Kippenberger, who said that “if everything is good then nothing is any good any more”. We need to recognise what is bad in order to appreciate what is good. We create the space for change out of our mistakes.
Experimenting is a vital part of an artist’s creativity and growth. The shed could be seen as a shelter, a private space where we are free to experiment as we choose without fear of criticism from the outside world. In ‘A room of one’s own’ Virginia Woolfe says that “a lock on the door means the power to think for oneself”. We need privacy in order to express ourselves fully and freely.
The shed could also be seen as the space within the creator, a metaphor for the process of creativity. Grayson Perry, when talking about his dads shed said “It was…a powerful metaphor for creative thought. My own creativity and art practice has been a mental shed – a sanctuary as well as a place of action – where I have retreated to make things. It gives me a sense of security in a safe enclosed space while I look out the window on the world”.
Charles Traub states that “our art is the tangible manifestation of the nobility of the human will facing the unknown, but inevitable forces of life. The production of art is mans refuge from the primeval forces around him.” Therefore the act of creating artwork is a retreat in itself. Creative people often need their private space for their enterprise.