Carole Sartain’s fascination with photography began at six years old when her parents gave her a stereoscopic viewer, and deepened when she began to use their Box Brownie and Super 8 video camera to make family portraits and record events. Her fascination continued into adulthood, discovering that she preferred editing, curating and producing other people’s work. For over 16 years she was Exhibitions Manager for The Royal Photographic Society organising and curated contemporary and historical exhibitions and events with some of the world’s leading photographers including: Don McCullin, Elliott Erwitt, Martin Parr, Fay Godwin, Linda McCartney, James Ravilious and working with agencies such as Magnum, Autograph and the Association of Photographers. She was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of The Royal Photographic Society in 2000. She continues to work as producer, educator, facilitator and mentor for organisations such as Creative Skills Set, University of the West of England, Knowle West Media Centre and the Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts, Bath. She considers myself to be an ‘amateur’ photographer who uses photography to document things that she is either interested in or passionate about.
Definition of Shed: “…is typically in a back garden that is used for storage, hobbies, or as a workshop.”
The images are a personal tribute to my Dad’s lifetimes work as a carpenter and joiner and his private world: The Shed!
The Shed was his creative space – a modern day ‘Makers Lab’ – where he spent over 50 years developing his craft and honing his skills from: furniture making; fixing and mending domestic appliances or tinkering around with wood.
Since his death five years ago, nothing has been touched. As part of the clearing-out process, I felt compelled to document the space before anything was touched, or removed.
In so doing, I have come to realise that my dad was a hoarder. Nothing was thrown out. He recycled, up-cycled, repurposed everything including: furniture, tools, nails, off-cuts of wood and plastic tubes. Everything was
labelled and stored “…just in case it might come in handy..!”
I have been struck by the vital colours, shapes and the beauty in everyday objects, as well as noticing obscure objects appearing through layers of plastic – as yet untouched or identified. They evoke memories of happy and secure times and have given me a better understanding and insight into a messy, dusty, creative but ultimately ordered space that was and is Dad’s Shed.