The Ownership Claimer

This footwear based artwork was created as a commission for Shoes Have Names, an exhibition curated by conceptual fashion designer Jo Cope and Shelter, a housing and homelessness charity in the UK, as part of London Craft Week 2020. The show featured a collection of handmade artworks inspired by the personal experiences of real people facing homelessness. Ten international artists, shoemakers and designers were paired up with a person that Shelter has helped through its frontline services. My case partner was Lola.

Personal object.

The absence of a home, a home full of absence, no space for traces.

The Ownership Claimer, 2020.
Personal object.

“The Ownership claimer” is a tool that fabricates shoe traces and claims ownership over a place. With a gentle manoeuvre of the wooden twig, we can lay the heel on a ground, leaving an imprint on it, a sign of ownership and claiming it our own.

31cm x 25 cm x 27 cm

Destroyed shoe boxes, a paper bag, kremenit, brass, a twig, rubber.

Photo 1 : Stephen Lenthall,
Exhibition: Shoes have Names

Photo 2: Shoes Have Names
part of exhibition: Fitting In at Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design & Architecture, Belgium.

Photos 3: Dan Lowe
Photo 4-8: personal Archive

The shoolessness is frequently associated with poverty. At the same time, a shoe can be a symbol of ownership. In the past, the gesture of stepping on land was used to finalise an ownership deal over land. “To claim property, one might place shoes upon it or walk its perimeter.”

“The Ownership claimer” is a device that fabricates shoe traces and claims the ownership over a space. With a gentle manoeuvre of the wooden “crutch”, we can lay the heel on a property that we want to claim, leaving an imprint, a sign of ownership.

The Claimer stand demonstrates the imprinting powers onto a shoe box (e.g. a tinny place to live) in a purchase bag. The material vocabulary and the shapes are coming from shoemaking processes and life on the street. The found material was sourced out of Grenson’s shoe shop waste and the craftsman bins in the Northampton factory.

Lola, my partner in the Shoes have Names project, who faced homelessness, moved from one temporary housing to another with her two daughters,. Everything was on the go, all belongings packed in bags and boxes. No space for traces. This situation ended with the help of Shalter which find a permanent place and restart her life.

With this piece, I wanted to arm Lola with a device that will make a home to any places she wishes upon! No more temporary settlements, no more semi-packed boxes and bags ready to go. It is time for belonging, It is time to come home.