Soleful, February 2021
Oil on canvas
70cm x 70cm x 1.5cm

The shoes reside by the back door. In piles. Soccer boots, basketball shoes, running shoes x many, cycle shoes x many, futsal shoes, slides, slippers, everyday shoes (work shoes and dress up shoes tend to dwell on feet and/or in the cupboard). How many shoes does one family need? I think about the money, better spent elsewhere, but tied up in these kicks. So much sole-less consumerism. Sort after and then forgotten, relics of time past and different identities tried on and then moved on from. Maybe this is why I am reluctant to throw shoes out as it’s like admitting that you (and they) are past it, whatever it is. The shoes in this painting are, like the paths and roads in many of my other paintings, symbolic of the passage of time as well as the bittersweet business of a family growing up. Gone is the pitter patter of little feet, replaced by something that you’ve paid for, but can’t quite relate too and I am struck by how small and insignificant my own shoes look in comparison to the relative bigness and garishness of my children’s shoes. As I ponder the pile, it’s hard not to imagine a diminishing of self happening in parallel to the young ones stepping out into the world. But I guess that’s also the way it should be and always was.


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