This weekend we hopped across the pond to handover our Instagram to Philippa at 5ftinf (pronounced five-foot-inf), a fine artist and mobile photographer (who is actually 5ft tall)! – following along by clicking here: #the5ftinftakeover.

Philippa has given us a glimpse in to her creative world by showing us how she transformed her garden shed into a very personal space at her home in Brighton on the south coast of England.

The 5ftinf garden shed | west elm

Brighton has wonderfully vibrant creative community – artists, makers, designers, you name it! Each year I take part in an event called Artists Open House, where artists like myself open up the doors to their homes for the public to see the spaces we work in. A few years ago, I began turning my garden shed into a themed-installation project for the event. Past themes have included American Pioneers (or the Cowboy Shed as I called it) and The Sea (The Shipwreck Shed).

1. Getting Started.

HOW TO TRANSFORM A SHED IN TO A CREATIVE SPACE | west elm

HOW TO TRANSFORM A SHED IN TO A CREATIVE SPACE | west elm

For the rest of the year, the shed is my studio so before beginning work on this year’s theme – and much to the dismay of my cat – I had to clear out the space.

This year I chose the theme of nesting. To me, nesting is about creating your own very personal, cozy and safe space! I don’t like overplanning my installations and try to keep them open ended – I like the idea of letting them organically develop with no controlled plan.

HOW TO TRANSFORM A SHED IN TO A CREATIVE SPACE | west elm

HOW TO TRANSFORM A SHED IN TO A CREATIVE SPACE | west elm

From the beginning, I was constantly drawn to this yellow lamp – color then became the starting block for the rest of my “nest”! (You can see that lamp here if you’re in the UK!)

HOW TO TRANSFORM A SHED IN TO A CREATIVE SPACE | west elm


2. Placing Collections.

A few weeks ago, I visited an exhibition at London’s Barbican Centre called ‘Magnificent Obsessions’. Not only was I inspired but felt very reassured that my natural inclination to collect things seemed to have a place in a lot of artists studios. I’ve always been aware that I work in what other people would define as a “mess”, but here were artists showing how they felt it necessary to be surrounded by their very personal collections. I decided to work this in to my theme.

HOW TO TRANSFORM A SHED IN TO A CREATIVE SPACE | west elm

HOW TO TRANSFORM A SHED IN TO A CREATIVE SPACE | west elm

HOW TO TRANSFORM A SHED IN TO A CREATIVE SPACE | west elm


3. Adding Color.

I have a rather wonderful condition called synesthesia – a condition which sort of blends the senses. For example, when I hear a sound, it produces a visualization of color. As an artist, this has become an intrinsic and exciting part of my work. I also experience a connection between color and numbers – for example, my current age is brown and orange (next year I’ll be brown and blue).

HOW TO TRANSFORM A SHED IN TO A CREATIVE SPACE | west elm

HOW TO TRANSFORM A SHED IN TO A CREATIVE SPACE | west elm

HOW TO TRANSFORM A SHED IN TO A CREATIVE SPACE | west elm

HOW TO TRANSFORM A SHED IN TO A CREATIVE SPACE | west elm

To find the colorful accessories, I scoured car boot sales (flea markets) on the ultimate color hunting expedition. There’s a fantastic one here in Brighton every Sunday. My big thing is being able to mix the old with the new, including many items that I’ve had passed down to me from my family.

HOW TO TRANSFORM A SHED IN TO A CREATIVE SPACE | west elm

HOW TO TRANSFORM A SHED IN TO A CREATIVE SPACE | west elm

The color arrangements are composed in quite a detailed way, but they are also there to be arranged and re-arranged in different combinations. I have created a living palette of color for myself!

HOW TO TRANSFORM A SHED IN TO A CREATIVE SPACE | west elm


4. The Finishing Touches.

Once I was happy with the general feel of the arrangements in the shed, I added in a soundtrack to have playing while the installation was open to the public but it also encourages reflecting. Sitting on the sofa you’ll hear spring birdsong dissolved in to Judy Garland’s ‘Over The Rainbow’ (the original from 1938, which also includes birdsong!).

HOW TO TRANSFORM A SHED IN TO A CREATIVE SPACE | west elm

Featured:

US: Elton settee // Corner Fringe cushion // Emmerson Console // Hobnail Vases // Emmerson Nighstand // Textured Bowls // Emmerson Dining Bench // Industrial Stool // Potters Workshop Dinnerware

UK: Elton Sofa // Industrial Task Lamp // Megeve Table Lamp // Bermondsey Table Lamp // Emmerson Console // Emmerson Dining Bench // Emmerson Bedside Table // Industrial Stool // Textured Bowls // Corner Fringe Cushion // Potters Workshop

The 5ftinf garden shed | west elm

Philippa Stanton aka 5ftinf is a UK-based fine artist and mobile photographer. She creates still life photographic compositions using simple, everyday objects; often a cup of tea (SO British!), with flowers and plants, which is then contained within a quiet sense of season on her kitchen table.

Her compositions are like visual haiku; concentrating on the beauty of small things. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook or check out her website!


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Bernie

May 10, 2015

I was in the shed today, traipsing round the Brighton artists homes. love her house and the clever way she puts colours together.

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