Northamptonshire Plans a Shoe-Business Spectacular

Contemporary art events will celebrate county’s boot and shoe industry heritage

If you come across larger than life footprints, laser ‘stitches’, and giant boots striding through Northamptonshire this summer, you could be forgiven for thinking you had stumbled into a children’s fairy story.

But these are just some of the innovative art installations appearing in the county’s towns and villages as part of Global Footprint, an ambitious visual arts and heritage project celebrating the county’s long-standing boot and shoe industry.

Northamptonshire’s contribution to this unique high-end British industry will be brought to life by special commissions of outdoor artworks, exhibitions, events, trails, projections and talks which will take place between August and December.  The project will chart the impact of an industry that once employed thousands of people and produced millions of pairs of boots and shoes, and which continues to thrive through numerous bespoke and specialist manufacturers.

The events kicked off on July 31st with Godiva Awakes, a giant puppet of a famous 11th century noblewoman walking from Coventry to London via Northampton, where it will be presented with size 72 boots. The riding boots, worth £10,000, have been made by county boot maker Horace Batten.

Throughout the project, imaginative art works will pop up at various surprise locations around the county including a sound-art installation by Robert Jarvis and Field, an installation by Dominic Wilcox, featuring hundreds of shoe laces in the air growing towards the light creating a field of green on a bed of earth.  Stans Café, the theatre company directed by James Yarker, will prepare an interactive work called Foot Steps, with colourful footsteps across Wellingborough town centre encouraging people to discover the hidden stories of the oft-trodden streets, reassessing their everyday paths and journeys as they do so.  

There will also be a 3D augmented reality installation by Steve Messam ‘virtually suspended’ above the streets of the boot & shoe conservation area in connection with Northampton Heritage Open Days.  A state of the art pair of shoes with an accompanying short film will be on display at Northampton Museum, conceptualised and designed by Jo Cope.

These myriad events are all brilliant ways to explore fashion through the lens of art, while paying tribute to Northampton’s thriving shoe and boot industry.

For those who enjoy something out of the ordinary, there will be an impressive laser-stitch at the end of September: a three mile long light display that will beam its way across the Nene Valley, creating a striking and memorable image to capture Global Footprint. There are great activities to entertain the family too, including the Global Footprint Finale Event, a two night public audio/visual outdoor extravaganza hosted by Watch this Space.

So watch out as Northamptonshire puts its best feet forward with a shoe-stopping spectacular this summer! 

For more information about Global Footprint, including press trips, images or interviews, please contact:

[email protected] / 0207 360 7860