London Craft Week 2020

Shoes Have Names

Created for the Shoes Have Names exhibition in collaboration with Shelter UK and Jo Cope, using the power of craft to bring awareness to the individuals who face homelessness and eviction each day. Caroline Groves x Anonymous
After years of uncertainty, bankruptcy, eviction, navigating bureaucracy and surviving the Snakes and Ladders of Hope and Despair, all my subject desired was a refuge. These boots represent a home at its most basic, as depicted in naïve domestic samplers.

Using simple stitches, the basic embroidery reflects simple desires – family, dog, furniture – all protected by strong red brick, adorned with a rambling rose decorating the entrance. Precious. Fragile.

“The linings depict the spiral of decline, somewhat like Alice tumbling into chaos, losing control, conversely interpreted as a never-ending climb out of the abyss.”

While my subject wishes to remain anonymous, the name of her Shelter representative is hidden in the shoe – the silent hand that reached down as she was falling and brought her back out of the dark hole.

This is the story of homeless strife. It is also the story of the power of kindness.