A Shared Life - Irene Graham

Inspiration details:

pair of girls shoes

Worn by the donor, Eileen Amy Brock (born 20/02/1915)

Pair of girl's shoes; British, 1925-30

1925-1930 (made)

Tan and ochre leather

V&A collection reference number(s):
B.138:1-1993, Pair of Girls Shoes

Artist Statement

Irene Graham

In my personal practice I have been reflecting on the idea of change within a personal and emotional sense. How as individuals we change throughout life and how the objects that belong to us change and develop with us. How our relationship with these things alters through time.
The clothing collection resonated strongly with me. What we wear can be a very emotional part of a growing life. We all have favourite clothes that we cannot part with even though they may no longer fit or are worn through with holes and tears. They hold so many memories of life and of the times that were shared whilst wearing them.
I was inspired by a pair of girl's shoes from the 1920's. Imagining the places they had been, the memories held within in them and the relationship the wearer had with them.
I looked at my daughter's shoes.
One pair stood out to me with the story they could perhaps tell, passed down by her lifelong friend. If they could speak, what could they say? The two lives they have shared, intrinsically linked with friendship, with familiarity. I imagined them and their story and created a stream of consciousness narrative as a background to the image. Using a vintage typewriter to give a sense of history of times that have passed.
The image is split into two sections to reflect the two friends and the two stories that ultimately create a whole. The images of the shoes have been left as outlines so the narrative can be seen running through them as it runs through the two friends' lives. The sense of line achieved through the drypoint gives an ephemeral sense of the past. Something that is intangible, having moved from the physical into the memory.

A Shared Life - Irene Graham

No Image

Inspiration details:

pair of girls shoes

Worn by the donor, Eileen Amy Brock (born 20/02/1915)

Pair of girl's shoes; British, 1925-30

1925-1930 (made)

Tan and ochre leather

V&A collection reference number(s):
B.138:1-1993, Pair of Girls Shoes

2015 Exhibition Guide

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