MATERIALS: Plastic, steel, electronics, vinyl.
DIMENSIONS: (H)220 x (W)389 x (D)90.
“…this work addresses the potential for fashion to guide humanity out into the world in a kinky but orderly manner.”
That quote was the opening paragraph to my application for the exhibition "Movements" at First Site gallery which was part of the Virgin Australia Fashion Festival (VAMFF). The theme explored “ideas of movement within fashion, design and creative practice”. It just so happened I had something in my back catalogue of “stuff” and thought, yeah, I could shoe horn this in (pun intended); submitted the idea, and here we are.
Its origins hark back to 2011 when I became interested in highlighting the failing standards of pictograph designers and their reprehensible lack of style or classical taste when designing the human form e.g. circles for heads and stumps for feet. It should be more of a hot button elevator, water cooler, windmill at the mini golf course conversation starter (who’s with me? Yeah).
As my practice evolved over the years there appears to be a subconscious revisiting of the humble shoe. I put my cobblers-focus down to being an introvert. As someone a lot cleverer than me once said, “An extravert can tell a lot about your eyes, an introvert will tell a lot about your shoes” – Amen to that brother.
Given all that, I have long been interested in the luxury that art has for being ambiguous in concept and application versus the required practicality and unambiguousness of official signage. A luxury, I may add, that fashion also enjoys. Then again, while frantically searching for the exit while "gasping your last" due to overwhelming noxious fumes and licking flames, one shouldn't get bogged down with aesthetics.
Yet, for signage to break down the human figure into basic lines also reduces the meat and potatoes of human eccentricity, which ultimately highlights our differences. I appreciate the human touches in signage, and it’s not just footwear that is returning to humanity: since it’s on my radar I’ve noticed some official incarnations of the Facebook “like” sign features a button-hole cuff. And I’m still waiting for the Google symbol to include, as part of its visual branding, an evil moustache with which to twirl :-) .
Nevertheless, at the end of the day, once installed, S(exit) presented a nice bit of theatre for the exhibition. That shouts practicality in any language.
If you like this piece, feel free to visit my shop to purchase the image on any one of my favourite media. Naturally arrows are available in a variety of directions (left, forward and right) to accommodate your preferred inclination.