Northampton

Jelly shoe sculpture for Northampton Museum and Art Gallery

Silicone jelly shoes
Image caption The artist hopes the shoes will be "a starting point for discussion"

An artist with a fascination for jelly shoes has created a display made up of 1,000 pink silicone sandals.

Tom Hackett, from Nottingham, hand-cast the jelly shoes used in his installation.

The art is being displayed at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery in February - in a town famous for its shoe-making heritage.

Mr Hackett, 51, described the sandals as "a piece of visual intrigue and a starting point for discussion".

'Incredibly poignant'

The artist said he became "curious" about jelly shoes - silicone sandals commonly worn on beaches or in water - when he found a single child's shoe abandoned near a lake in France.

Image caption Mr Hackett said the work was created because of curiosity about the shoes

"I found seeing an odd shoe on its own an incredibly poignant object. So it started with curiosity for an object," he said.

"Over the period of a couple of years when visiting this lake I collected about 20 or 30."

Mr Hackett made clay moulds of the shoes he had found before casting them. The process took about three months.

"I also like the idea of how things that appear to be manufactured are actually handmade," he said.

"There is a false distinction between what has been individually crafted with what is manufactured, because at some point every item will have been hand-crafted.

"Viewed as a group the shoes make something bright, colourful and extraordinary out of the everyday shoe.

"The relationship with Northampton was also logical as they still have a jelly shoe factory based there."

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