I have made and unmade this piece many times in the past couple of years. It was initially inspired by a story about a Hebronese shoemaker, who has a roaring trade in shoes, made with a little earth from the former Palestine sealed in their soles. The secret experience of 'walking' on home soil that these shoes offer intrigues me. As does the notion of a destined homeland for both Palestinians and Jews, my own tribe, on my father's side.
I began by stripping an old shoe down to its component parts and making paper patterns of these pieces. For a long time, I saw the patterns as symbolic of the shoemaker's designs (in both senses of the words), and of a map, a precious representation of a lost land deeply longed-for land. Very much aware of the charged nature of making anything that connects to the Israel-Palestine conflict. I disassembled at least three 'shoes' before this finished version, began to emerge. Much like its subject matter, this shoe is a conundrum, made up of its own inner forms and logic, its arching insole preventing any foot from safe occupation, in-filled with sections of 'outer leather, each part, neatly labelled: quarter, in sole, counter, tongue.