Tin Sheds spurred a pivotal historical movement in Australian art, nurturing cross-disciplinary experimentation and politically orientated practices for several decades.
Tin Sheds Gallery is a contemporary exhibition space located within the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney.
Tin Sheds initially opened in 1969 as an autonomous art space within the University grounds, and was home to a wide range of workshops and events facilitated by artists, academics, activists and students. Tin Sheds spurred a pivotal historical movement in Australian art, nurturing cross-disciplinary experimentation and politically orientated practices for several decades.
The Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning was a strong support base for Tin Sheds, and in 1989 it officially joined the School delivering art workshop classes. In 2004 Tin Sheds moved its entire operation into the School with purpose-built workshops and a gallery.
Our mission is to foster and advance public debates about the role of architecture, art, design and urbanism in contemporary society through the production of innovative exhibitions, publications and related activities. The gallery provides a public platform for projects that inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue – addressing the diverse forces that shape the built environment.
The Tin Sheds Gallery remains both a physical and intellectual space that contributes to the broad discourse of national and international architecture, art, design and urbanism. We are dedicated to the exploration of new ideas, the hosting of collective and critical debates, the nurturing of spatial experimentation and innovation, and the intelligent and accessible promotion of scholarly research in the field.
Kate Goodwin is a curator, writer and educator. She was Head of Architecture and Heinz Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, for 17 years, responsible for architecture exhibitions and programming activity. She has curated numerous exhibitions including Renzo Piano: The Art of Making Buildings (2018), Sensing Spaces: Architecture Reimagined, (2014) and New British Inventors: Inside Heatherwick Studio, (2015-16). She has commissioned both established and emerging artists and architects for projects in London and abroad. She is a Professor of Practice (Architecture) at the University of Sydney and is the Curatorial Lead at the Tin Sheds Gallery.
Iakovos has been working for Tin Sheds since mid-2011. He initially worked in the former Tin Sheds Art Workshops before moving to the Gallery in 2013. He has been professionally involved in exhibitions since 1999. He founded and directed the artist-run space 55 Sydenham Rd in 2011 – an exhibition and studio space that was strongly supportive of local experimental artists and curators. Highlights include managing the installation of Suzanne Victor’s ‘Contours of a Rich Manoeuvre’ (Casula Powerhouse, 2008), curating a tribute exhibition for the late Mike Kelley, ‘A Kitten Drowning in a Well’ (55 Sydenham Rd, 2014), managing an exhibition on Kevin O’Brien’s work ‘Finding Country: Radical Practice’ (Tin Sheds Gallery, 2016). More recently he joined the board of Radio Skid Row, a community radio station based in Marrickville, NSW.
Jay is a recent architectural graduate of the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning. She was heavily involved in the Vanuatu (Freswind School) project as a student project coordinator. She joined the team in 2019 as an assistant to the External and Professional Engagement office. She now oversees engagement activities for the School including Tin Sheds Gallery. Her most recent work includes delivery of Lacaton & Vassal: Rothwell Chair Symposium 2021 - a hybrid multi-day symposium which attracted audiences from all around the world.
Jennifer Ferng is a senior lecturer in Architecture and Postgraduate Coordinator at the University of Sydney. Trained as an architectural historian, she also has experience installing fine art, video, and site-specific designs by Gary Hill, Yayoi Kusama, Sol LeWitt, and Michael Shaughnessy. At the Tin Sheds Gallery, she co-curated the “Dirt, Dust, & Ruins” exhibition (2013) with Zanny Begg, featuring works by Jorge-Otero-Pailos, Daniela Ortiz & Xose Quiroga, Tina Havelock Stevens, and Elvis Richardson. She is a member of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre and invited participant for art history events organised by the Power Institute.
Luke Hespanhol is a media artist, interaction designer, researcher and producer. He is a lecturer in Design at the University of Sydney, where he investigates the potential of digital media and technologies to create engaging experiences leading to reflection on the relationship between individuals and the immediate environment around them. He has explored these possibilities of public expression through the development of media installations for academic research and teaching, art galleries and public art festivals, including multiple editions of Vivid Sydney. He has also helped to drive the discourse on media art in Australia and overseas through public speaking and organisation of workshops, panels, and participatory exhibitions bridging the gap between fellow media artists, students and the industry.
Lian Loke is a multi-disciplinary performance artist and researcher, working across dance, durational and site-specific performance installation, costume, and interactive digital media. Her practice questions the role of the body in contemporary society, and how our notions of self are open to transformation through inter-cultural, inter-species and inter-media relations and rituals. She is co-founder of the Pork Collective, a group of artists working in immersive performance installation in festival environments. She is an active member of the Arts and Cultural Advisory Committee of the Inner West Council, contributing to strategy and policy formation. She is Head of Design and Associate Professor in the Design Lab, School of Architecture, Design and Planning, the University of Sydney.
Lee Stickells has been involved with the Tin Sheds Gallery for more than a decade, working with artists and architects to realise a range of exhibitions and events connected to his strong interest in alternative practices in architecture. Lee’s historical research on countercultural and ecological design experimentation has been published widely across scholarly, professional and popular media. Alongside this, he maintains an engagement in creative and curatorial practice—apart from the Tin Sheds Gallery, he has collaborated with organisations such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Christchurch Art Gallery, and Lismore Regional Gallery. He is also a member of the Architectural Theory Review editorial committee and the International Advisory Board for Counterculture Studies.
Michael Tawa is a Professor of Architecture at the University of Sydney. He has taught architecture for more than thirty years and published texts on international and Australian artists Wolfgang Weileder, Janet Laurence, Richard Goodwin, Renata Pari Lewis and Pip Stokes; the monographs Theorising the Project: a Thematic Approach to Architectural Design (2011), Agencies of the Frame: Tectonic Strategies in Cinema and Architecture (2010) and Atmosphere, cinema, architecture (forthcoming). Michael has also exhibited several film and video projects: among them “Anatomy of Atmosphere” in Design and Research: Shared Territories (Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University, Suzhou, 2014), ”Inscape: film” in Expanded Architecture (The Rocks, 2013), “Interstice” in Emergencity (Tin Sheds Gallery, 2013) and “Hunter Outbound” in Alchemy (Sydney College of the Arts, 2012).
Header image: Tin Sheds on City Rd, circa mid 1980s. Image courtesy of University of Sydney Archives.