The ruby shoes are inspired by the famous Ruby Slippers that Dorothy wore in the 1939 Hollywood film. I created my first pair with the help of my Mom in 1990 (pictured above). We used store-bought shoes, spray paint, and glitter. Now twenty-five years later, each new ruby shoe that I make is a celebration of that initial collaboration with my mom.
Each pair of shoes in Ruby Shoes (Memento) was donated by friends and family members. The initial intent was that the shoes would be transformed and then offered to the public to wear together in a shared space. Indeed, the collection recently made its way to Berlin, Germany where unsuspecting folks wandering through the Berlin Alexanderplatz were invited to wear the shoes with me. But as the collection grows and as I add glue, spray paint and glitter to each shoe I notice the degree of wear in the footbeds. I created Ruby Shoes (Momento) because I feel compelled to explore the shoes as humans personified. Given that the famous Ruby Slippers were the sign of hope to Dorothy that she would be protected on her journey to find her home, there is something very hopeful to me about the notion that a ruby slipper could exist in some shape or form for every person.