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2020s shoe

 Garment: Women's high heel shoe
Materials: Paper and Thread

Size: Life-size

Water ripple floor photograph by Ray Sullivan


This piece is inspired by the style of shoe known as the stiletto and by a lone male kingfisher at the moment of diving when he cracks the water; high heel shoes originally had a male association as they were created to help men keep their feet in their horses’ stirrups.


This piece is also inspired by the fact that, whilst the point of a single high heel appears fragile, it can exert an impact on the ground that is 15 times that of an elephant’s foot.

Click on each image to magnify


Photographs & video by Ray Sullivan

The blue of a Kingfisher seems to cut to the heart of what it is to be beautiful. I first saw a kingfisher dive whilst in my mid-twenties, walking alone in nature. Years later I finally found a sufficiently richly coloured paper to attempt sculpting a kingfisher but it was one particular photograph that decided the shape of Halcyon Nights. It showed the complete wingspan of a kingfisher diving, reflected whole in the surface below. The bird seemed frozen in time in the most momentous, yet fragile, of instances. Through long observation I sought to capture as a still form a moment similarly embodied with life and movement.

I create garments from paper that in their style or decoration reflect how we display our psyche & relate to the world. This includes how we interact with nature. This piece represents the fleeting speed of every step we take on the earth. From the rear, the Kingfisher is seen resplendent at the moment of transition from air to water. From the front this piece is an evening shoe, worn by a woman held aloft on her high heels and adorned, like the bird, in a dazzling display of finery. The water’s ripples become shockwaves as a decadent evening shoe meets the ground and the woman’s every step connects her to the earth with corresponding pin point accuracy.


The video below may not work when viewed on a phone

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