As friends for years, Sonia and I and our families have been taking trips around Ireland finding beautiful remote corners, the faraway places where we could roam and wander with the kids on the water and off the water. Choosing the back tracks, we would regularly stumble upon tumbled down houses, derelict dwellings, and disused sheds and barns. One thing they all had in common, was their striking beauty, whether being slowly consumed by ivy and growing trees, brambles and grasses, or out standing in fields, on hillsides or battling the elements on roads and farms. It became a thing. To photograph and document. So we did and have done for years and today, on our road trips to suppliers and makers North, South East and West we invariably find new gems to explore and photograph. Hopping out of the car on the roadsides, clambering over gates, chatting to owners through hedges, diverting up lanes … it is part of the fun, the discovery never ceases to inspire and surprise.
Irish sheds are here, there and everywhere. So much so, it's easy not to see them, to not notice them at all. Sheds are a wonderful part of our rural scapes, a vital part of every farm and country home, they were constructed simply in stone or cement plaster, very few windows, a modest door and though they were made in a myriad of different shapes and sizes they all had one thing in common – the corrugated roof. This ridged rippling metal was most often painted red or black or green and would reflect a light and pattern that catches the eye.
With time, the farms modernised, the small dwellings were left to decline as the next generations built more comfortable houses to live in. But interestingly a lot of the sheds have been left on the land, storing old machinery, housing a few remaining animals as required. Wonderfully, the corrugated roofs remain largely intact, weathered and warped with time, full of character.
And so laterally, it has become a really fun part of our work road trips to photograph these sheds as we would come across them travelling back and forth. Needless to say we have quite a collection of photos! We thought we should do something with this as a project and build on it. So we are collating all our favourite shed photographs and hope to do something worthy with them at some point. In doing so we thought it would be great to get friends and followers involved who might know a shed near them that they could photograph and add to the collection. We would be keen to build a library of Irish shed photos from every county of Ireland. Now that would be something.
So this is a call out to you to get involved if you would like. When out for your walks or local drives, keep your eye out for a corrugated roof over a stone wall or hiding under trees. Take a shot with your phone and send it to us or share it on social with the #STABLEshedproject. Wouldn’t it be special to be able to see them all come together and create a unique collection to share? So if you are keen to join us and help build the library we would be grateful! You can send your shed pictures to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most sheds are close and visible to road ways but, always ask permission if you have to cross private land to get to one further away!