Craig’s project aims was to showcase the very private relationship between a man and his shed. A man’s shed is a place to shelter not just from the rain but from the ups and downs of daily life. It is as much a mental as a physical hideaway. By tradition the shed is a male preserve where a man can retreat – a sanctuary.
Isolation, loneliness and depression are major health issues for many men, which is compounded by a male culture of not talking about feelings/emotions and not taking an active interest in their own health and wellbeing. 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.
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.
Craig photographed a 101 men for his book Men and Their Sheds “the backyard shed” to complete a historical publication, to share the stories of proud Australian men in their sheds and promote community awareness of male health. Highlighting the positive effects a man’s shed can have on their health and wellbeing by giving them time out needed to deal with major life events like loss and depression and the power of mateship and tinkering.
The outcome of this project produced a published book showcasing these 101 men in their sheds (102 if you count my own shed and self portrait which my children helped with) as photographic art by Craig Wetjen (Ambassador/Speaker for Beyond Blue). A historical record for all to see and most importantly the families can reflect on your life’s enjoyment “The Shed” and their stories of what their shed means to them.
The book Men and Their Sheds is now available. The book can be purchased Australia wide in bookstores as well as Big W, Kmart and Target. The book will be available online at Echo Publishing, Booktopia, Angus and Robertson, Myer, Dymocks and for international purchasing is available at Book Depository.
Awards and Commissions:
Moran National Photographic Prize
2015 Semi Finalist 1 image
2014 Semi Finalist 2 images
Small Business Success Award
2012 Momentum Energy, 3AW and the Victorian State Government
Australian Institute of Professional Photography
2015 Awarded Masters of Photography of the AIPP (M.Photog I)
2011 Awarded Masters of Photography of the AIPP (M.Photog)
2008 Awarded Associate member of the AIPP (AAIPP)
2013 Associate of WPPI USA
Canon AIPP Australian Professional Photography Awards
2013 Finalist Travel photographer of the year
2008 to 2014 – 5 Silver with Distinction Awards
2006 to 2014 – 17 Silver Awards
Epson AIPP Victorian Professional Photography Awards
2009 Runner Up Victorian Wedding Photographer of the Year
2007 to 2014 – 38 Silver awards
2007 to 2014 – 8 Sliver with Distinction
Creative Asia Awards
4th and 6th place
3rd place Portrait and wedding category
• 2016 Rochester Fine Art Exhibition – Group exhibition
• 2015 Head On Photo Festival Featured Exhibitor
Paddington Gardens Sydney
• Dec 2014 to Aug. 2015 Barwon Health Hospital Geelong
• Sept 2015 The Digital Show, Melbourne Exhibition Centre
• Sept 2015 Ballarat Foto Biennial
• Sept 2013 The Digital Show, Melbourne Exhibition Centre
• Sept 2013 Ballarat Foto Biennial
• April 2013 Blokes Places and Spaces Courthouse Arts Geelong
• April 2011 Blokes Places and Spaces Courthouse Arts Geelong
Conference Presentations / Workshops
2012 – Present Ambassador for Beyond Blue – Speaker local community workshops. What a personal project can do for your wellbeing.
2015 Perth The Nikon AIPP Event – Transforming a Negative into a Positive.
What a personal project can do for your wellbeing. It’s about refining your skills with no pressure.
2013 Photography Studies College – Biennale Photographic Symposium, Contesting Identities: photography, narrative and the self
at the University of Ballarat.
2013 Baclinks and Karingal – “Big Boys Don’t Cry, But they should” Forum – 2013
2012 CCP – National Indigenous Photo-Media Forum for Photographers & Media Artists
Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) The Business of Photography –
2011 The Nikon Event Gold Coast
SEO and Web Marketing for Photographers
2011 AIPP Hair of the Dog Queensland
SEO and Web Marketing