Lisbon Boots and Shoes
In october 2012 I completed a project in Lisbon, Portugal where I was invited to make a work with various regions of the local community this included working with and forming collaborations with agencies institutions and public bodies including Eco council reps recycling and sustainability officers students and staff of the university of Lisbon and other supporting sponsors including CAT. In my research and development for the project I haad identified that lisbon was imbued with a number of significant historical monuments regarding their natioanl and international identity, this told me clearly about the civic pride that is evidenced in their society, with this in mind I took the theme of shoes as the universal or one of the most ubiquitous of items that every person has in their possession, this theme developed a strong narrative with various members of the communities as they collected over 1800 shoes and boots, each shoe being an individual member of its own community, I had toured the city and realized that at different strategic points their was history and symbol of civic pride embedded in the areas through a wide range of sculptures referencing the history of Lisbon and its peoples, I wanted to reference this classicism through modeling a boot as though it was an individual person, I also had in mind the iconic image of ‘van gogh painting of his boots’ which seems to carry many universal associations about different levels of society. I then enlarged the work to 5m long working with a team of 4 Lisbon university final year students we started to make a positive form and then take a piece mould and then make the work using the collected shoes. The project was a year in planning and weeks in execution and delivery. It is important to me that whilst being concerned about the environment and raising issues of sustainably in my work I also feel that it is just as important that the community who are directly engaged with the work should also take ownership of works by engaging directly in the planning and delivery, I also contributed to a symposium on public art at the university of Lisbon.