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New Brewery Arts: Shoes Have Names

Shoes Have Names, a collaboration with conceptual fashion designer Jo Cope and Shelter. Exhibition at New Brewery Arts, Brewery Court, Cirencester, GL7 1JH, 29th January to 3rd April.

Mon to Sat 9am-5pm, Tues 10am- 5pm, Sunday – closed

Stories of homelessness have never been told like this before.

Ten international artists, shoemakers and designers were paired up with a formally homeless person that Shelter has helped through its frontline services. The show features a collection of handmade artworks inspired by the personal experiences of real people facing homelessness. From shoes made out of an old sofa, to the use of the latest CAD software and 3D printing.

The show opens 29th January and runs until Sunday 3rd April 2022, entry is free.
The show was originally put on at Shelter’s flagship Boutique Shop in Coal Drop Yard, London as part of the 2020 London Craft Week.  The show comes to New Brewery Arts highlighting two areas close to the organisation’s values – the beautifully crafted shoes by renowned artists speak to the centre’s high-quality craft values.  In 2020 during the COVID-19 Pandemic New Brewery Arts opened its Barrel Store accommodation to homeless people in need, this exhibition resonates and helps to remind us that homelessness has many ‘looks’ and exists in Cirencester, it speaks to New Brewery Arts values of working with and supporting our local communities.

The exhibition aims to raise awareness of the thousands of people tackling evictions, poor housing conditions, landlord issues and homelessness. But Shelter gives hope. With the right support and by working together, people can fight bad housing and make a positive change. The exhibition is also working towards removing a stigma around homelessness.  These very personal examples of a homeless experience highlight the many ‘faces’ of homelessness, and the reality of the issue being so close to home.

Each shoe or pair of shoes created by the designers are named after the person who’s been supported by Shelter. The designers have been asked to create a unique design reflecting the stories of the individuals using the materials they are most comfortable using from their current design specialisms.

The show has a dominating/striking red aesthetic– Jo Cope explains; ‘there is an emergency, there is a housing crisis, it is a call to action, that is what the red is about’.

Blog: ShoesHaveNames.com

Beth Alden CEO New Brewery Arts said: “We’re all about craft and its role in society. Shoes Have Names uses creativity and craft skills to expose the stigma of homelessness and hopefully, start some meaningful, positive conversations that foster a better community.”

Jo Cope, artist and exhibition producer, said: Shoes Have Names aims to use fashion as a positive vehicle to create greater public awareness of homelessness. It also celebrates the amazing work of Shelter. This year, as the pandemic took hold and more and more people found themselves facing their own housing crisis, Shelter’s services have never been more vital.“I believe fashion can play an evolving role in society. This project uses shoes as an empathetic vessel, bringing together a highly talented community of designers to create shoes which tell real life stories of people who have faced homelessness.
“Fashion’s role in society is changing; this fashion project reflects the need for ethical shifts in the fashion industry towards something more human-centred. Naming shoes after real people supported by Shelter is a way of giving these people back their place in society and a positive identity, which can sometimes be lost by the blanket term ‘homeless’.

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