The Politics of Shoes (2018.21)

Catalogue Record

Collection

Maker

Title

The Politics of Shoes

Made in

Coalville
Derby
London

Date

2014

Description

A 13 minute HD film 'The Politics of Shoes' and the props used in it demonstrating the social and political narratives contained in shoes and shoemaking. Commissioned for the Crafts Council Exhibition Twelve Tall Tales in 2014, the film centres on the performance and preservation of heritage craft skills through the medium of living-history, a form of educational history telling that showcases authentic archaic tools, dress and practices.

The Red Poulaines have 38cm long toes on each side accompanied by a pair of wooden pattens. Leather cords attached to the tip of each shoe toe.

The placards is a rectangular corrugate plastic board (Correx) with wooden stick attached to the bottom as handle. ‘National Union of Boot & Shoe Operatives ON STRIKE’ is written on the board.

Rectangular mat with image of King Henry V.

A cut out from a digital print on card of the former United States president George Bush with a wooden stick attached to the bottom as handle.

Leather shoe template.

Leather shoe template in red.

Detail design on paper.

Book, ‘The Misery of Boots’ by H.G. Wells

6 round badges in two different sizes replicating the original insignia from ‘The National Union of Boots and Shoe Operatives’ established in 1874.


Materials and techniques

Red Poulaines made from natrual vegetable tanned leather. Decorated by punching, brocading and dying.

Object number

2018.21

Category

  • The Politcs of Shoes displayed at the Crafts Council touring exhibition Twelve Tall Tales, Onkar Kular and Dash MacDonald, 2014. Crafts Council Collection: 2018.21.

    The Politcs of Shoes displayed at the Crafts Council touring exhibition Twelve Tall Tales, Onkar Kular and Dash MacDonald, 2014. Crafts Council Collection: 2018.21.

  • The Politics of Shoes, Crafts Council Collection: . Photo: Stokes Photo Ltd.

  • The Politics of Shoes, Crafts Council Collection: . Photo: Stokes Photo Ltd.

  • The Politics of Shoes, Crafts Council Collection: . Photo: Stokes Photo Ltd.

  • The Politics of Shoes, Crafts Council Collection: . Photo: Stokes Photo Ltd.

  • The Politics of Shoes, Crafts Council Collection: . Photo: Stokes Photo Ltd.

Maker's statement

The Politics of Shoes was a collaboration between Onkar Kular and Dash Macdonald based on their shared interest in Edutainment and a desire to challenge conventions of educational outreach activities.

Through the process of production, The Politics of Shoes reveals some of the social and political narratives contained in shoes and shoemaking. The project centers on the performance and preservation of heritage craft skills through the medium of living-history, a form of educational history telling that uses authentic tools, dress and practices. For the project, historical shoemakers Katarina and Juraj Matejik were commissioned to make a pair of poulaines; shoes with long pointy toes that played a key role in medieval identity politics.

Acting as a resource for educational outreach activities, the film documents the shoemakers’ performances and expands on the usual living-history delivery by breaking from the story world of the period, introducing references from medieval times to the present day. These details illustrate the political significance of shoes throughout history; from how they are made, to their use as an instrument of protest.

Dash Macdonld, 28 June 2018