The Shed: A Tiny Space for Big Ideas
|Mural by Sandile Radebe, precursor to The Shed (2021)|
--Cape Town, 2022--Move over mega-galleries, white cubes and starchitect museums. A humble garden shed turned microgallery has sprung up in a back yard in Cape Town suburbia offering artists “a tiny space for big ideas” - its tagline. The aim of this temporary project, The Shed, is to pivot existing private space into small-sale public art practice at a local scale and to offer a platform for time-based or durational works to unfold.
The Shed is located in a small private back garden in Rosebank, metres from the Alma Cafe which is a coffee shop by day and a live music venue by night and its restricted opening hours will coincide with Alma live gigs, most likely once a week, to encourage footfall in an otherwise unlikely residential setting. During 2023, The Shed will manifest artistic projects on a temporary and invited basis, given its residential nature. For more information on the background of The Shed, see the Projects page.
is inspired by other artists who have turned unlikely spaces into artistic
platforms - DIY independent spaces and artists redirecting garages, kitchens, stairwells, and
even a bedroom closet to exhibition ends. The Shed has a similar ethos to invent new possibilities from what is already circulating, and in the face of closures
of various kinds.
Artists hosted by The Shed are encouraged to engage with local environs and context. Measuring about four metres by two metres, the garden shed is part of the original structure of an early 20th century house. It is made from bricks and corrugated iron sheeting, painted black, and accessed via an external passageway that runs alongside a house. The local neighbourhood is rich with intersecting stories to be told at the nexus between physical space and (re)imagination.
The Shed could host time-based work, a performance, a silent disco, a work of theatre, a video installation, or two-dimensional artworks on the wall. Imagination is the limit. Artists will get use of the tiny space for anything from three hours up to three months at a time, with the idea to create ‘slow art’ in an increasingly telescoped world. (See also 'The Miniscule of Sound'). Works will be non-commercial in nature and experimental. Artist Sandile Radebe kicked off this project in October 2021 by turning the passageway wall adjacent the house leading to The Shed into a mural. The design spells out the microgallery’s name in block lettering derived from Google maps of the area:
Kim Gurney's durational artwork, 'Running a Book', is a prelude to The Shed and helps enable it. 'Running a Book' is both an artist book and a funding mechanism, using stocks and shares as an artistic medium to facilitate non-profit interventions in public space. When there are profits to be taken, another chapter of the book is written in public space via guerilla gallery. More here: Running a Book.