Head On Photo Festival : The Australians – My Pick
Craig Wetjen – Men’s Sheds
Craig Wetjen’s project ‘Men’s Sheds’ enters into a very male domain where the shed is both a place for its owner to indulge in his hobbies and also a refuge.
Wetjen says the messaging in this project runs far deeper than a series of portraits of men with their bikes, cars and gardening tools. Men’s Sheds is designed to draw focus on mental health issues that face men in our community, issues that are rarely spoken of and issues which many men believe carry the stigma of being too soft, of not being a real bloke.
“Isolation, loneliness and depression are major health issues for many men, which is compounded by a male culture of not talking about feelings or emotions and not taking an active interest in their own health and wellbeing,” says Wetjen who is an ambassador for Beyond Blue, an Australian initiative concerned with depression and anxiety. “The traditional backyard shed, provides a relaxing place for men to meet and continue a hobby, learn new skills, or just pop in for a chat and a cup of coffee, tea or a cold beer.”
He continues. “The concept of Men’s Shed collectives plays a significant role in reaching the marginalised in our society and reducing isolation by connecting men with each other and their communities. Community involvement gives an opportunity for men to be involved in something meaningful and make a positive contribution to their community whilst providing a safe, friendly and inclusive environment to gather and work on meaningful projects in the company of other males”. This is an ongoing project for Wetjen who hopes Men’s Sheds will result in a book as well as exhibitions.
Until 31 May, 2015
Paddington Reservoir Gardens
251-255 Oxford St
Head On Featured Exhibition