Simon Griffiths (Lantern) 2014, 232pp, RRP $39.99

Photographer Griffiths’ follow-up to the popular Shack is a glossy collection of shots of the peculiarly Aussie shed, and is divided into five sections that group the sheds in question into their practical uses and present them in all their beaut, aesthetically pleasing glory. Shed - Simon Griffiths - Penguin Books Australia - The Clothesline

With brief descriptions of each shed’s location, purpose and so forth, we begin with ‘A Place To Make And Fix Things’, with ‘Helen’s Shed’, ‘Mark’s Shed’, ‘Greg’s Shed’, ‘Gillian’s Shed’ and others rubbing shoulders with ‘Lot 19’, which is part of a Castlemaine arts community. ‘A Place For Growing’ is next, with examples including ‘Daniel’s Donkey Shed’, ‘Virginia’s Farm Shed’ and ‘Cluckingham Palace’, designed to keep the Hunt family’s chooks safe, and then there’s ‘A Place To Be’, which might have been better called ‘A Place To Get Plastered’, as the first entry is Brad Burns’ and James Newton’s ‘Party Shed’, located on the Coliban River in Central Victoria (and surely keeping the locals awake at night when in operation).

‘A Place To Keep Things’ details four sheds used as storage (‘Darryl’s Shed’, Vespa Girl’s Shed’, ‘Hilton’s Shed’ and ‘Machinery Shed At Brickendon’), but it’s the final chapter, ‘A Place Of Memories’, that’s perhaps most striking and even somewhat haunting, with eleven sheds now in ruins and notably including ‘A Shed In Abbotsford’ (an inner Melbourne shed that looks bizarrely out-of-place after repainting for some forgotten film) and ‘Grass-Roofed Shed’, which was found by chance by Griffiths and Heritage Victoria’s Martin Zweep on their way to the ‘Murtoa Stick Shed’ and is the subject of much mystery, as no one knows when it was built or by whom. But one thing’s for sure: it’s certainly one of the spookiest sheds in this whole shedderific volume.

Dave Bradley

This title is available through Penguin Books Australia. Click here to purchase your copy.

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