Donate your old shoes to arts project

Shoes being made in the county
Shoes being made in the county

A town which has been closely associated with the shoe industry for decades has been invited to become involved in a special arts project.

As part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and regional Igniting Ambition Festival, Global Footprint aims to deliver a countywide project that celebrates Northamptonshire’s boot and shoe industry.

Through contemporary visual and digital artworks, installations, exhibitions, community and school workshops Global Footprint will invite communities and visitors to Northamptonshire to gain new experiences and share insights into the industry and its continuing importance to the county.

One of the places which is being used as a base for the project is Rushden and people from across the county can get involved by donating their old boots and shoes for a specific piece of art called Field.

Rushden Museum chairman Sarah Peacock said: “The organisers are looking to use Rushden as one of the centres for the project. Our town had a lot of boot and shoe factories. There was more than 50 at one time, including John White.

“The shoe industry employed so many people and affected so many people’s lives here and we want to keep those memories alive.

“We still have three factories open in Rushden so it makes sense we’re part of this project.”

The organisers of the project need 100 pairs of laced boots and shoes for the Field piece of art. Sizes do not matter but darker colours are preferred.

They can be dropped off at the Rushden Centre in Newton Road, Rushden, and at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery.

Donors are urged to include their name and contact email address so project organisers can keep them informed about when and where they can see Field.

All shoes will be given to charity Soles4Souls at the end of the project.

Organisations involved in the project include Northampton Museums and Arts Gallery, Northamptonshire County Council, University of Northampton, Northampton Arts Collective and a number of independent county museum and heritage.

Selected highlights to look out for around the county in the coming months include a 3km trail of giant footsteps across the Northamptonshire landscape.

Global Footprint has been supported by Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, Northamptonshire County Council and Legacy Trust UK.