Foot Stepsfrom a cast of characters parade through Wellingborough town centre as part of countywide GLOBAL FOOTPRINT project. Over the August Bank Holiday weekend visitors to Wellingborough town centre may come across a series of colourful Foot Steps and trails that have been commissioned as part of the countywide GLOBAL FOOTPRINT project.
Emanating from the town centre, Foot Steps depict stories of both historical events and characters in the town. Highlights include:
- Re-creation of the 1957 April Fools day ‘Hoax’;
- Cattle prints at the Castle Theatre studio theatre, depicting the former cattle market;
- Swimming pool scene outside Wellingborough Museum;
- Elephant prints on its way to the the former zoo near the Tithe Barn;
- Scenes relating to the shoe industry at former factory sites on Mill Road, Thomas Street and York Road.
Award-winning theatre company Stans Cafe will be installing the footsteps over the course of the weekend using a mixture of indoor vinyl prints and hard wearing temporary paint.Foot Stepswill be the fifteenth edition of their Steps Series, which began in 2008. Inspired by 'teach yourself to dance' floor mats, it uses footprints, handprints, text bubbles and other graphics to create instructions for 'do it yourself' performances for the public to puzzle out and participate in. Each new edition of the series tells a new story responding to its new location. Stans Cafe recently installed Olympian Steps in Handsworth and Aston parks in Birmingham and Golden Steps on the streets of Camden, London.
Stans Cafe, who are based in Birmingham, came up with the idea in recognition of the shoe industry's place in the town and county’s shared history, and is one of several arts commissions within the GLOBAL FOOTPRINT project designed by Northamptonshire County Council and core partners Northampton Museums and Art Gallery, University of Northampton and Northampton Arts Collective (formerly Fishmarket Gallery).
James Yarker, Artistic Director for Stan’s Cafe said: "We are delighted to have been invited to make a version of our Steps Series for Wellingborough. We are looking forward to the challenge to translating elements of the town's colourful history into an engaging street art installation. We hope that, when it's finished, it will prove popular and that people of all ages will have fun exploring it and playing with it."
In addition to the arts programme, a series of heritage workshops will be taking place at locations across the county that are synonymous with the connected with the boot and shoe industry. If you have a story to share or work in the industry today the GLOBAL FOOTPRINT organisers would be keen to hear from you via firstname.lastname@example.org
GLOBAL FOOTPRINTis a new initiative that for the first time aims to deliver a countywide project that celebrates Northamptonshire’s defining creative economy, its boot and shoe industry. It is part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad and regional IGNITING AMBITION Festival, supported by Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, Northamptonshire County Council and Legacy Trust UK, creating a lasting impact from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games by funding ideas and local talent to inspire creativity across the UK.
Selected art installations to look out for around the county in the coming months include:
- Stitch– a laser art installation across the Nene Valley connecting the historic boot and shoe producing villages of Wollaston and Earls Barton;
- A series of sound-art installations and musical compositions created by artist Robert Jarvis that incorporate the rhythms and stories of the shoe industry;
- Printed– a 2km trail of giant footsteps across the Northamptonshire landscape;
- Field – an eco-artwork depicting a grass-like field installation created from over 200 unused boots, shoes and trainers, and 600 green shoelaces.