Exploring our emotional connection to objects

What we choose to wrap around our body, or place on our feet says a lot about who we are and what we value. The shoe block project revealed to us that we have deep emotional connections to material things.

Each pair of shoes was photographed from five angles plus 1 detailed shot. The corresponding photographic views, front, side and top are transferred onto the corresponding front, side and top of the block. By turning the wooden block around one can get a visual sense of what the shoe looked like.

Our own internal perspective as a family shifted as the result of making this personal work. We are were able to give away shoes we no longer needed, and take better care of the ones we did value. Touching the blocks and turning them around in our hands triggered memories connected to the shoes. The making process increased our awareness on so many levels, and helped us push back against the tendency to horde everything.

As the girls sorted through their shoes, they shared stories connected to each one. Some shoes that had been passed down from their cousins had more stories. It was interesting to discover that the girls only wanted to photograph the shoes that they liked. By going through this process they realized that they were hanging on to a lot of shoes that they were not wearing and would never wear. We were able to pack up a big box of shoes to send to their younger cousins in Australia.

Project Details

The Shoe Blocks project is a collection of small wooden blocks that are visual representations of all the shoes that we own as a family.