A project to create a sculpture trail of shoes around Upton Place. Northampton has a centuries old connection to the fabrication of shoes and boots. Therefore shoes are a suitable theme to create a subtle trail of bronze shoes around the Keepmoat Housing section of the new development. Shoes provided an inspirational subject for students and local people to research, they each made a shoe in wax in workshops run by the artists. The waxes were cast into bronze at Castle Fine Arts Foundry with stainless steel fixings, so they could be attached to sites around Upton Place.
The artists worked with the local community to make the shoes and also created a website to chart the progress of the project and also to give themes to inspire the participants. Thirty three shoes were sited in a variety of situations, covering a large area of the development. The aim is to give local people, and children especially, a sculpture trail to discover, and to enjoy a theme which celebrates their local industry. A map of the trail is also available on the website - many of the road names in Upton Place are based on the following words or expressions used in the traditional shoe industry:- Barring; Bristle; Clickers; Jack Pin; Kiltie; Knot Tiers; Lacing; Moorcut; Padding; Rounding; Scribers; Skinners and Strobel.
For example a ‘Clicker’ was the traditional name for a person who cuts out the upper components of a shoe with the help of templates or clicking dies, and ‘Strobel' describes the specific way of stitching upper leathers and lining to the insole of footwear. Brunel Drive is named for the Northampton engineer, Marc Brunel, who developed machinery for the mass-production of boots for the soldiers of the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars.
The sculptors collaborated with Castle Fine Arts Foundry in making a shoes to be cast into bronze with their Free Wax promotion. Charlene Withall from Keepmoat Homes helped with the project, even making a shoe herself. Four workshops were undertaken, one with students and staff at Quinton House School, and two at Northampton Football Club via the Cobblers Outreach Programme with students from Northgate School and the Extra Time Club for the over fifties. A group of adults also attended a workshop at the artists studio. After everything was installed a shoe was given to both schools that participated in this project. The sites for the bronze shoes were chosen with Charles Langtree from the Land Trust and Keepmoat Homes.
www.shoesculptures.uk is the website we made for the project, with information on how the shoes were made, an inspiration page with links, and the student's subsequent designs, all the wax shoes, all the cast bronze shoes and the work after it was installed. This video details mainly the installation, with a few photos of the wax and bronzes shoes, and the workshops. The music comes from Lola Perrin's CD - By Peculiar Grace and other loves. www.lolaperrin.com
Upton Place Shoe Sculpture Trail
Share Via Email
CODA: Collaboration of Design + Art
The global online community that celebrates design projects featuring commissioned artworks.
[ manifesto ]
Art matters. Attention to the details of our environment leads to love of place, which brings us to take responsibility for the spaces where we live and work. And by extension, the people with whom we live and work. And by extension, to our local communities, our cities, our nations, and our world.
We champion the role of artists in our society. We need artists to provide us with inspiration, creativity, and imagination, and to help us envision a better world.
Architects and designers know that remarkable design can change everything. They connect the dots across disciplines, collaborating with artists to make the world a more beautiful place. They are the ultimate patrons of the arts.
In the process, design professionals promote imagination and creativity, and through their commissions, make original art integral to and accessible in people's lives.
Art in our public and private spaces helps us fight ordinary buildings, ordinary streets, ordinary cities. We celebrate the extraordinary.
The architecture of our buildings and the design of our interiors affect our happiness and well-being. Each of us deserves a daily dose of inspiration.