A NEW way of interpreting tales of loss and survival at a National Trust mansion house near Pershore has launched to a rapturous public response.
Soul to Sole is part of the £5million Heritage Lottery Fund work to repair and open up Croome Court so it can be shared with visitors in innovative new ways – some never seen before in a country house.
This artistic interpretation uses shoes to share stories about the characters who have lived and worked at Croome over the centuries and has been described as ‘magical’ and ‘thought provoking’ in its first week on show.
Using the 1950s boys school lockers in the basement of the house, the team at Croome have worked with researchers, graduates, new artists, shoe makers, sound designers and writers to create a new experience for visitors to explore.
Soul to Sole aims to encourage new designers to create engaging installations using a pair of shoes to share Croome’s colourful history. The piece aims to develop over time – culminating in 144 original perspectives across a range of disciplines.
Maud van den Broecke, who graduated from Cordwainers at the London College of Fashion and is part of the project, said: “I am so proud to be part of Soul of Sole as my passion is in shoemaking and design.
“I am in the process of creating a wide range of shoes to be placed in the shoe racks, some of which I am making in front of visitors to the house which has been a brilliant way of showcasing my work.”
Visitors will be able to see Maud’s work on display ranging from a reproduction of 18th century silk heels telling the tragic tale of Maria Gunning, to her interpretation of World War II in a pair of 1940s army boots.
Tom Bennett, Croome’s creative director added: “It’s a real pleasure to work alongside such brilliant, emerging artists.
“Through working together and discussing the inspiration, design and materials behind an idea, we have created beautiful pairs of shoes reflecting individual characters and their times at Croome Court.”