Based in an empty unit in a busy shopping centre in an Essex commuter town, The Shiny Shed was a swap shop and a base for local artists.
The work was to address exchange, how monetary and sentimental value sit together, and also how we value ourselves as creatives.
The shop was first stocked with artwork by artists on receipt of their studio space upstairs. Although there was a designated ‘shop’ area, theoretically everything was up for swap, superseding material goods and services. Since a lot of the items were personal and/or in use, there were some very high asks which endlessly frustrated customers. When this happened, a conversation would be had- a rational back and forth in order to find the middle ground between what this means to you and what it means to me, and what you bring to the table. It meant that the exchange took place over a matter of days, sometimes even weeks before both parties were apeased.
I opened the shop in the summer of 2010. Although the shop itself only ran for a few months, the group that first congregated there continued to work together for the next few years on similar community initiatives and group projects.