In my pursuit of art I have tried almost every medium, from painting, ceramics, printmaking, drawing and fiber arts. None of it fully satisfied my desire to do something different until I discovered that I could use hog casings (gut) as a medium for art. Although few contemporary artists are exploring this medium, indigenous peoples frequently use it to make clothing and ritual objects. It is also a forerunner of Gortex.
Gut is a marvelous material to work with, not easy but challenging. It often has a mind of its own. I have to wash it, let it dry, feed it onto a dowell, and cut it into workable lengths. It gives me the ability to make uncommon three dimensional forms. Gut is a perfect medium to create my shoes.
Shoes let me tell stories. They are often shaped by political or whimsical themes that I come across in my daily life. The title transforms the shoe’s shape and design into a statement. I created “Bound” after I held in my hand an example of bound feet, a tiny Chinese shoe that told a story. I channeled my anger into a work of art. A hightop sneaker on a skateboard became “Boys and Their Toys” to represent my view of the tech industry in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Throughout history shoes have told a story or hinted at the personality of the wearer. My shoes truly have the ability to speak.