Friday, March 01, 2019

Kath Hadden: shedworker

Devon-based artist Kath Hadden is also a shedworker. In the first of a two part guest post, she looks at how she first set up her garden office and why it has been so useful.
Lets call it a shed. I try and refer to it as my studio, but I feel a bit pretentious doing this and only leave it for more formal occassions. As a child I loved going to the garden centre with my mum and dad because while they meandered around the rows of bedding plants, I would happily play in the ' Wendy house ' area, always hankering after the one with two floors and a wonky roof. You know the one  we have all been stuck in it at some point trying to extract a toddler. 

Fast forward a few decades. Dad offered to build a Wendy house in the garden for our daughters and we drew up plans but sadly this never happened as dad passed away very suddenly. As my thoughts unravelled and I reflected on life,  I realised that in actual fact our girls were not at all interested in a Wendy house, it was in fact for me. It was about a connection, particularly now with my dad. So we bought a shed from Tesco Direct. This became my art studio. The children were all now at school and it was the perfect place to restart my painting and reignite some parts of me that had been buried in bringing up kids and losing loved ones. My husband saw something in me that needed to be nurtured and that brought me alive and so has encouraged me endlessly to pursue a career as an artist rather than return to the security of a salary and the madness of teaching. So here I am, 10 years later, working in a shed. 

It is great working in a shed. It's down the end of the garden and there are no issues with traffic or parking on my commute. It is free. It is quiet and I'm not bothered by anyone, (strangely no one really wants to join me in there because I have made it so inhospitable!). It is separate from the house, not just physically but mentally. It is untidy, paint splattered on the floor and the windows. I sometimes write thoughts on the wall because I can't find a bit of paper. No-one really goes in there except me. so I can leave it as it is and come back to it the next day (I don't have to clear up!). If I'm working in the house there are always distractions of jobs that need doing - as a creative I am quite easily distracted so this is important. 
Tomorrow, Kath looks at the boundaries of shedworking, animals and garden offices, and the perennial issue of heating your shed. Kath is on Facebook, instagram and twitter as @kathhaddenart and there is work for sale on her website. She is happy to discuss commissions and work can also be viewed by appointment. 

Friday posts are sponsored by Warwick Buildings, manufacturers of outstanding quality timber buildings. Click here for more information.

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