Harpenden Shoes

Showtime for shoes

pennybird20160906-img_1454-editHarpenden Shoes is a photographic art work of a collection of resident’s shoes on their owner’s feet to celebrate the beauty and diversity of this key fashion accessory.

Towards the end of summer, I invited Harpenden residents to take part in the project.  The response from locals far exceeded expectations; about 37 shoe lovers signed up their feet and shoes.

During the second week of November, there was a wonderful parade of work boots, wellies, ballet pumps, vintage shoes, modern shoes or one-of-a-kind shoes on the feet of men, women or children.  “It was a resounding success, with a lot of laughter as well as deeply touching moments: Ladies who arrived with boxes of shoes because they genuinely couldn’t choose one pair for the photo shoot, a friend who rooted out her wedding dress and shoes because they are so special to her, a young dancer who has practiced ballet for 10 years and now has her first pair of pointe shoes, and perhaps most moving of all, a grandmother who shared such a love of shoes with her granddaughter, she willed her the money to buy herself a perfect pair of Jimmy Choo’s. The variety and diversity is amazing.

“I’ve always been fascinated by the influence of shoes, both on the observers of footwear, and on the wearers. For the observer, Forest Gump got it one when he said: ‘you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes’, and for the wearer, hats off to Marilyn Monroe for: ‘Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world.’ During the shoots, I’ve seen strangers converted to friends in minutes; and quiet people light up my studio with personality. This project is no longer about photographs of shoes, which is how it started, it is about paying homage to shoes and showing how they bring confidence, meaning, and even change to our lives.”

pennybird20161103-img_6827-edit-edit-edit-editJackie Pulford, a passionate Irish actress, singer and dancer, and mum of three, brought along her sequinned skirt, sparkly tights and even more glittery silver shoes to the photo shoot. “I loved my photograph from the shoot. It epitomises my personality; when I wear these shoes, it is showtime folks! The morning spent sharing a bit of shoe envy and meeting like-minded shoe mad people was great and I can’t wait to see the Harpenden Shoe Project completed.”

pennybird20161107-img_7326-edit-edit-editFar right:  “I bought these Silver and Cream Mary Jane heels in 2012 to play the part of a very glamorous Spanish nightclub singer, and they helped give me the confidence and ‘pzazz’ to play her. I have tried to wear the shoes in every show…even if it’s just for warm up…they are my lucky charm!.”


Visit my shop to buy professional photographic prints or an already framed print + keepsake pocket book – prices from £19 for an A4 print.

If you like this artwork and would like to see my 2015 project, Harpenden Doors, please click here.



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