In these Scarpe shoes by Alasdair Thomson, the mundane is elevated to a status of grandeur by an unusual choice of material. The Scottish classical sculptor is known for his reproductions of ordinary items of clothing that are executed in high-quality quarried stone.
A pair of old, well-worn running shoes might have been inspired by a donated set from one of the artist's friends. It is often these sorts of pre-loved objects that become the subjects of Thomson's work. In this case, blocks of gorgeous Cambrian marble have been chipped away and smoothed out to take the shapes of warped footwear, complete with holes for the threading through of shoelaces. Where the gray veins in the rock of the Scarpe shoes have an elegant aesthetic in formal sculpture, here they rather resemble streaks of dirt.
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