2005 Man’s Destiny Resides in the Sole, Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto
Man’s Destiny Resides in the Sole refers to the age-old dialectic as to whether life’s choices are made with free will or whether one’s destiny is already inscribed into the ‘internal template’ of the soul. The installation represents life as a complex maze of long and winding pathways, forks and crossroads.
The shoes’ uppers display motifs adapted from labyrinth designs, with the labyrinth acting as a metaphor for the journey of life and self-discovery. The shoes’ soles display words that are part of the language of journeying.
Footwear goes beyond fashion and speaks of history, art and culture. It has the power to symbolise different moments in history, different lives that people lived and different stages in a person’s life. For more than 15 years I have made various types of artworks using footwear – either found or created. These artworks both large scale and small, have exploited the symbolic power of footwear. Shoes can be at once spiritual and comic, pretty and threatening or impracticable and utilitarian. Whatever they are, more than any other piece of clothing, they will evoke memories and associations. Making a site-specific artwork for the exceptional and unique Bata Museum—a museum that exclusively collects and displays footwear—was a fantasy come to life.
Site-specific, commemorative sculptural installation, Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada