Forget the man cave: say hello to the She Shed. Women around the world are closing doors on discarded cricket bats, left-up toilet seats and couches covered in crumbs, and instead finding inspiration in private nooks affectionately known as ‘She Sheds’. Whether it’s a renovated old hut, a commandeered garage or a studio constructed on an abandoned veggie patch, more and more spaces are being claimed and refashioned into sanctuaries of peace, quiet and possibility. Jump down the rabbit hole of the She Shed movement, and celebrate the creativity these beautiful spaces inspire, the memories they preserve, the artistry they exhibit and the women who build them.

An Animator’s Shed. 

My garage is at the back of my garden. It is a very tiny garden so it is not really very far from the house. It’s surrounded by garden beds where we grow lots of veggies and herbs and flowers. The window faces the house, so my partner and can usually see each other pottering around. When I’m working, it’s nice to be in sight but still separate from the house.

I’ve been living in this house in Preston for six years. At first I rented with a few different housemates, and the garage was always a coveted space. When my first housemate moved out, I took it over. It’s just a simple, single-car garage with a roller door out the back and a regular door leading into our garden. Back then it was just a concrete floor, tin roof – no insulation. I worked on an animation project out there over one of these ridiculously hot summers and temperatures inside the garage got up to 45 degrees.

Eventually my partner and I got the opportunity to buy the house, and our very first project was to set the garage up as a proper studio, I engaged the help of a mate who has a beautiful design aesthetic and a passion for using salvaged and reclaimed timber. We put in a false wall to separate the studio from a small storage space out the back, put in insulation and a ceiling so I wouldn’t melt or freeze again, put in power points, lighting, a huge workbench and plenty of shelving. It’s a bit of an ugly duckling from the outside with an awful aluminium window that I hope to replace some day, but inside it is a little artist’s paradise.

I use my shed for creating animation and artwork. I’m a multidisciplinary artist, and I create works in many media, including collage, sculpture, printmaking, and painting. Recently I’ve been concentrating on sculptural works in wood, metal and found objects.


I also specialise in stop-motion animation. So my shed is often set up as an animation studio. Not only is it a space for creating the characters for my animations; it is also where I shoot stop-motion films, so it is set up with miniature worlds, little stages, lighting, tripods and cameras.

In the past year I’ve created work for three solo exhibitions – all in my shed. (But let’s face it, it often spills out into the backyard, and onto the coffee table and the kitchen table. Luckily I have a very patient partner.) I’ve created flocks of birds made of wire and metal, and I’ve made drypoint etchings exploring the theme of home, sustainability and development. Also, my small, lyrical, abstract houses carved by hand from red gum featured in an exhibition called ‘Home’. I think I am most proud of the animation work I did for X, an internationally acclaimed theatre show by Sunny Drake.

The best thing about having my own creative space is I can create as much of a mess as I like. Much of my artistic practice working with wood and metal and tools – requires plenty of space and creates of lot of mess. It’s absolutely essential to have space where it is safe and okay to do this sort of work. It is also good to have a space separate from the house so you can physically move from your home space to your work space. Being in the garage is a signal to my brain that it is time to switch off from day-to-day things and get stuck in to my work.