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The meaning and myths of sheds: a visual study of sheds in Iceland and Tasmania


Donoghue, J and Tranter, B, The meaning and myths of sheds: a visual study of sheds in Iceland and Tasmania, Proceedings of the 2022 Nordic Sociological Conference, 10-12 August 2022, Reykjavik, pp. 1 piece- abstract. (2022) [Non Refereed Conference Paper]

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We explore the form and purpose of sheds in Iceland and Tasmania. Pushing back against the notions of 'toxic' masculinity and materialism, we suggest that sheds have intrinsic meaning and value in contemporary Western societies. Drawing upon a collection of photographs, we compare the historic influence of 'masculinity' in the construction of 'sheds' i.e. crudely constructed tin dwellings in Iceland, and rough wooden dwellings in Tasmania. We argue that the practical, sleek design of the vertically corrugated Icelandic tin 'sheds' could be connected to the streamlined but sturdy Viking longboats, where ship design involved timber beams laid in a lengthways pattern of construction. The wooden sheds in Tasmania, in contrast, follow the construction patterns of British ship builders, where the frame is initially constructed with beams laid across the ship resulting in sheds with horizontal corrugations. Both designs make use of cheap and readily sourced materials that can be transported and worked easily. The historical remnants of 'heroic' masculinity are apparent in the rough shed design and construction which are thousands of kilometres apart. Metaphorically, the Reykjavik tin sheds are free standing 'longboats', while the wooden Tasmanian sheds are river side 'ships', both beached in far flung colonial island outposts.

Item Details

Item Type:Non Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:community sheds; the meaning and myths In Australia and Iceland
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Urban sociology and community studies
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Community services
Objective Field:Community services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Donoghue, J (Dr Jed Donoghue)
UTAS Author:Tranter, B (Professor Bruce Tranter)
ID Code:153083
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2022-09-05
Last Modified:2022-10-14

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