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marina dempster’s yarn painting and beaded sculptures

I still get a thrill watching Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz click her heels together in those iconic ruby red slippers, whispering “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” I can’t help but wonder where she might have gone if she were wearing a pair of Marina Dempster’s yarn painted shoes instead of the ruby slippers. I have no doubt they have the power to transport you to a magical place.

Ebullient
found shoe, bees’ wax/pine resin, glass seed beads, feathers

 

Voracious
found shoe, bees’ wax/pine resin, glass seed beads, threads, vintage false teeth

A Good Print
vintage shoes, bees’ wax/pine resin, glass seed beads, guilded thorns, silk threads

 

Ebullient
found shoes, bees’ wax/pine resin, glass seed beads, feathers

Dempster’s contemporary spin on the ancient Columbian Huichol art of yarn painting is mesmerizing. She takes found shoes, uses bees’ wax and pine-resin to form a new ‘skin’ over the shoe and then embeds the wax/resin skin with yarn or beads. And though shoes are a main focus for the Toronto based artist, she also adorns mannequin legs, glove molds, shoe lasts and other objects.

Self Portrait

Shoe Clips

“My current series draws from a fascination with the idea of shoes being an extension of the body through which we transmit information to the brain about the terrain over which we travel. The confounding high-heel, while being everything that pinches, elevates us in inches, and inevitably makes us more sensitive to the ground we walk on.”

Marina Dempster’s website

Interview with the artist here

 

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