“We all have a favourite pair of shoes and they often reveal something about us without us even realising… Alice has a talent for capturing something quite functional to evoke its charm and make an emotional connection.”
– Elle Macpherson
‘Interview with a Shoe’ featured a series of more than twenty portraits of the favourite footwear of high profile names such as Annie Lennox, Elle Macpherson, Cherie Blair, Baroness Neuberger and Alice Temperley. The collaboration between the artist and the owners of the shoes reveals the wearer through their choice of shoe, many of which have intriguing and moving stories.
The paintings are accompanied by a series of personal stories, prompted by the memories attached to each pair of shoes. The Little Church of the West Las Vegas portrays a pair of gold platform sandals worn by Annie Lennox to the Las Vegas wedding of Bob Geldof and Paula Yates. Election Trail depicts the high heeled pink stilettos of Cherie Blair, worn during the election campaign of 2005.
Alongside the shoe portraits, Alice created a vast canvas of the shoes being sorted at the Oxfam Wastesaver Depot, and a selection of exquisite silk screen prints and shoe sculptures. The exhibition also helped to raise funds for the charity Dress for Success London, which helps to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women.
Perhaps most revealing of all are the tan leather brogues and sandals that belong to Nicole Farhi and her husband Sir David Hare. "Nicole's shoes say so much about the harmony of her marriage, and the fact she values things that last," explains Instone. The couple's simple, sturdy shoes painted side by side, run with the caption: "We were meant for each other.”