Introduction - Booth Museum
Booth Museum of Natural History in Hove is a listed building, originally built in 1874 by Victorian ornithologist Edward Booth to house his impressive collection of stuffed British birds. The humble conceptual origins of the building led poet John Davies to consider that he might pay eccentric homage to it by erecting a garden shed inside. From this base he proposed to undertake a residency exploring the whole notion of 'the shed' and its various manifestations and fascinations as a place of escape and utility. Curiously, the poet later learned from curator John Cooper that Booth Museum itself is described as a 'shed' by English Heritage in its official listings.
Adopting the workman-like pseudonym of 'Shedman', John encouraged shed related feedback from anyone that cared to drop into the Booth Museum and post their thoughts on his noticeboard. He also conducted a range of targeted workshops, drop-ins and readings. No other residency attracted quite as much curiosity and press interest as that of the Shedman inside his shed inside a shed.