Wednesday, 26 September 2007

My father's shoes


Discarded shoes have a special poignancy, more than any other piece of clothing do they conjure up the individual who wore them. This is a pair of man’s shoes, made from tissue paper, moulded on a pair of my father’s shoes, which I kept after his death. Shoes that had been lived in, wrinkles and creases and the faint bulges left by the shape of his feet translated directly into the object made. The process of making like a final tender gesture, each shred of tissue paper applied by hand in a slow and intricate process. The personal and the artistic converge in this work.
The shoes look huge and heavy but are as light as feathers. At first glance they look deceptively real, as if their owner could slip them on again, walk on, but looked at closely they reveal their transient and fragile nature.
It would have been my dad's birthday today.

7 comments:

redredday said...

dear Marjojo, i've been trying to write back to you all day and i am still fumbling...

your comment...it is more than okay...somehow i knew you would reach me, but just did not expect it to be filled with such uncanny connections...i am a big sucker for those things and can't help but try to find meaning in them...

these shoes...i have seen them before but now seeing them again, knowing that today would have been your father's birthday, makes it so much more real to me. yet still so surreal as well, especially when you say how they are as light as feathers...right now, i think of angels, guardian angels watching over us...

Amanda said...

Dear Marjojo,
Shoes are a wonderful metaphor for a life lived. The creases and wear marks are so personal; as individual, I imagine, as finger prints. I hope this work brings you healing in your grief, and helps you to remember the happy times. (Next week it will be two years since I lost my father.)

As light as feathers. A comforting image, redredday.
Warm wishes.

Uschi said...

wonderful featherlight shoes!
As a child I always dreamed of moving some centimetres above the ground...yes, walking, not flying!
It's a dream, I still have.
Practicing yoga gives you the feeling of being rooted to the earth and your wonderful shoes give you the possibility of both: a good walk and a good fly!

Marjojo said...

Dear Mien, I am a sucker for those things too and maybe the meaning is just that there is a connection and I think that's wonderful. You probably saw the shoes on my website, I made them a couple of years ago, not long after my father's death. Had them in a little show then, next to my girls' shoes, and they looked like big boats compared to them, which seems quite fitting. Lots of people took them for real shoes until they stepped really close, it was quite uncanny. Oh, if only there were angels watching over us, just now I've got several friends who could do with something like that, one esp. who is in the pits of despair and I don't know how to help her.
Amanda, thanks for visiting and your comment. When I made the shoes a couple of years ago it felt like a good way of remembering him, thinking about him, he was a great walker (and I've got a thing for shoes). You'll probably have something that kind of represents your dad for you?
Uschi, your comment made me smile, thanks. What a wonderful idea, to walk hovering in the air. I do fly a lot in meditation.

Marjojo said...

PS. It's a dark grey and cold day, it feels almost wintery and my mood seems to fit right in, so it's wonderful to go to the computer and find messages and be lifted out of everything for a moment.

MoonChild said...

that's the most meaningful present for your father!
you know in chinese, people will burn some paper-made presents for the death it's just like the material you pick up -- the tissue paper. it's very ingenious.
it seems to me that there are many meanings inside this shose!

ps. i enjoy my school day very much! many new things are waiting for me to try! and my big problem is to make a good time management on my stuffs!! God bless 6)v(<

Daniel Yuhas said...

I've been thinking of you often lately - have you seen the work of Laura Splan? She made a dress out of put on and taken off see-through facial peel that I saw at the "Extreme Embroidery" show here in NYC. It's ephemeral and ghostlike and has this body-memory built into it, and looking at it I instantly thought of you and especially the light-as-a-feather shoes.