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When you make public art you have big shoes to fill

Giant sculptures of boots and shoes appearing around Shoetown

A new sculpture trail is being created in the town – the Northampton Shoe Sculpture Trail.

Giant shoes on plinths – created by Noel Blakeman Ltd and decorated by local artists – are being installed at 12 locations in the town.

A number of pieces are already in place in Abington Street, the Market Square and outside Royal & Derngate.

A map of the sculpture trail will be available at lovenorthampton.co.uk.

A quick scout around the town centre revealed the Derngate and Market Square shoes to be standout examples with the latter featuring the town’s popular Fridge Street fridge magnet collection.

Others, considering the accompanying plaques say they have been decorated by local artists, are a little plain however there is still time for the whole collection of shoes to be as pleasing as the decorated lions that adorned the town in recent years.

Public art is never an easy remit to fulfil: it is expensive and someone always hates it, but as a non-retail attraction to the town centre it is pretty cost effective compared to building a concert hall and arguably it should provoke some kind of public discussion.

When you get up close it is clear the shoes will not last forever (the legend on the plinth includes instructions not to climb on them) but maybe they will inspire the town to look for more and bigger opportunities to create amazing things people want to come and see.

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