Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Institute of Backyard Studies

Run by Mark Thomson, The Institute of Backyard Studies is "dedicated to the preservation and growth of backyard culture in Australia and elsewhere". Thomson knows whereof he speaks as he is the author of not one, not two but THREE excellent books about shedlike atmospheres Blokes & Sheds, Stories from the Shed and Makers, Breakers & Fixers. Here's what he says about the Institute:
"To some people, a “backyard operation” is synonymous with dodgy, low quality, illicit and generally dubious business. Destroying this stereotype is one of the Institute’s main aims. In fact the backyard and its associated institutions - the shed and the barbecue to name a couple - can make a strong claim to being the very generators of our prosperity, well-being and sanity.

We are becoming an indoor, inward looking nation, gazing out on patio courtyards paved from edge to edge and ordered to within an inch of their lives. The woodpile down the back or the pile of useful scrap has vanished. Rather than fix anything we ring up the man to come and install a new part or we buy a new plastic version made by slaves in some unseen part of the world."
Well worth a browse and you can buy his books from the site.

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