Down at Heel - photographic series by John Cowpertwait

5 Nov 2015 – 31 Dec 2015

Event times

08.30am - 5.00pm

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Fazenda Cafe Gallery

London, United Kingdom

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Photographs of discarded footwear found in India, Cuba and London line the walls of the Fazenda Café Gallery in Spitalfields throughout November.


A refreshing antidote to this summer’s splurge of exhibitions in larger institutions relating to the fashion and manufacturing aspects of shoes, Down at Heel takes a different approach by looking at footwear at the other end of its life cycle.

At an event in Covent Garden in July 2015 staged under the heading ‘Roundtable Conversations: Discussions about Art and Life’, panelists and audience members examined one group of photographs - Down at Heel (Karnataka) - in detail. 

The debate showed the breadth of different reactions these evocative images can elicit – for example, some observed a dark shadow of personal and urban decline, decay, destruction and death in the work. In contrast, a number of audience members responded to the work with joy, being reminded of the sense of liberty experienced by taking off your shoes and running free. Others felt it raised questions about the disposal and recycling of everyday items, while also noting the way the forsaken footwear took on anthropomorphic qualities. One panelist highlighted the inclination within the work towards listing, categorising and cataloguing. See how you react.

Down at Heel (Karnataka), 2009-10 is being displayed with two additional recent works in the same series - Down at Heel (Cuban Heels), 2012 and Down at Heel (City Heels), 2015.



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Psi Art Projects

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John Cowpertwait


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