Simon Thackray was born in Ryedale, North Yorkshire in 1960, and spent his teenage years living on a farm. He left school at seventeen to work in the family business of agricultural engineers, and held his first one-man-show of ink drawings in Vanburgh College, at the University of York, in 1978. Simon returned to the University, by kind invitation of the Music Research Department, to exhibit his ‘Photographs from The Shed’, some 30 years later, in 2008.
Simon Thackray is an artist, producer, promoter and creator of the famous micro-venue The Shed ® (1992 to present). He makes prints, sculpture, paintings, constructions, whirligigs and short films – and takes photographs. He presents internationally renowned musicians and poets (including the Poet Laureate) in venues across the country, from the V&A and Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, to village halls, rivers and ponds in Ryedale, North Yorkshire. The Shed is listed in Time Out: 1,000 Things To Do In Britain, and the Bradt Guide to Eccentric Britain. Simon invented the famous Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race ®.
The images below are a snapshot of Simon’s live-art events presented in Ryedale, North Yorkshire. His events have been featured on Front Row, BBC Radio 4, Radio 3, Radio 2 and 1 to Sky News – to name a few.
“His enthusiasm seems to light up the street. I muse on the idea of future cultural historians citing a shed door as the fulcrum of a rural arts renaissance.”
Ian McMillan, The Verb, BBC Radio 3.
“For the past 20 years, The Shed, near the market town of Malton, has been responsible for some of the smallest and most inspired art events in the country.” Alfred Hickling, Guardian
More about Simon Thackray here.
Simon Thackray live art, improvised music and spoken word events (selection):
The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race ®
The North Yorkshire Elvis Bus Tour
Hat – (world’s first words, music and knitting spectacular)
The Fish and Chip Van Tour
Lol Coxhill in a skip
Mrs Boyes’ Bingo featuring Mark Sanders
Sebastian Rochford’s Van Gig
Alan Tomlinson and the River Seven
Alan Tomlinson’s sewer solo
The Poetry Of Pete Morgan – A Celebration –
with Carol Ann Duffy, Ian McMIllan, Martin Carthy and Brass Monkey
The Shed Comes To Town
Shed Builder (World Premiere for BBC Radio 3)
“North Yorkshire’s hub of improvised happenings” Jez Nelson, Jazz on 3
Time Out: 1000 things to do in Britain
“Catch a performance in The Shed…”
“Near the market town of Malton on the edge of the Yorkshire moors, The Shed is one of few venues in the country with a location as inspiring as its programme of live music and performance art. The latter’s affinity with the surreal end of the creative spectrum is largely thanks to the boundless imagination of its creator, Simon Thackray, whose ideas are often too large to be limited to his makeshift stage: in 2004, for example, he had jazz saxophonist Lol Coxhill touring North Yorkshire market towns in a skip; one year earlier, improvising trombonist Alan Tomlinson did likewise in a fish and chip van, serenading customers as they queued for portions of battered cod. Other weird and wonderful outings have involved everything from knitted Elvis wigs to rowing down the river in over-sized Yorkshire puddings, although of course there’s plenty making more conventional use of the 100-capacity Shed’s candlelit interior – from the live comedy of Stewart Lee and the spoken word poetry of regular collaborator Ian McMillan to all manner of world, classical, jazz, blues and folk music.”