Shoes made of bread and spit, slippers knit in wire ... John Windsor on art's new fetish
A load of cobblers or the latest trend in contemporary art? Wherever you look these days, artists are making not only clothes, but shoes. They can be fetishist, feminist, political - or just fun art. For the more cerebral among us, they are the latest attempt to explore the way people relate to objects. Shoes have a peculiar slip-on intimacy. They can dominate, or they can submit to the artist's impression - bunions and all. Polish- born gallery owner Olga Sienko-Tutton says: "Shoes say everything about us. We put them on and cast them off without thinking, but they reveal more than we realise about who we are, how we live and what our intentions are. They are a bigger give-away than facial expression or body-talk - which we learn to control."

Left: the Saatchi Collection has bought these elongated, professionally cobbled shoes by 37-year-old Goldsmiths graduate Jordan Baseman. Enquiries: Richard Salmon, Studio 4, 59 South Edwardes Square, London W8, 0171-602 9494. Above: Pink Shoes by 31-year-old Jemima Stehli, another Goldsmiths graduate. Mere objects, but powerful enough to lure the wandering eye away from her nude figure. Enquiries: 0171-359 2694

Left: cast in coal dust then in quartz glass, an icy-looking second- hand pair of Eighties size six stiletto-heels. For Italian-born Tiziana Bendall-Brunello, 39, a graduate of Camberwell College of Art, they are a natural progression from her casts of children's clothes - which go up in smoke, leaving a textured impression in the glass. Enquiries: 01223 411374. Below: Speed Boots by Martin Fletcher, 23. His moulded fibreglass boots are unwearable but, he says: `If you did put them on, you would be very, very fast.' Enquiries: 01622 678011

Above: Croat Dusan Kusmic made this display from bread and spit after fleeing Yugoslavia during the war and ending up in a prison camp in Sicily. The Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, the city where Kusmic died in poverty in 1990, is including his work in an exhibition of outsider art, 13 June-4 October (00353 1 612 9900). Left: liberated from their shop context, Sylvie Fleury's Doll Platforms stir notions of politics, feminism and fetishism. Enquiries: Laure Genillard Gallery, 82-84 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1 (0171-490 8853)

As she knitted and crocheted these slippers out of copper-nickel wire, Polish-born Natalia Zagorska-Thomas, 31, a graduate of Central Saint Martin's, kept trying them on for size. She is interested in the human impressions that clothes retain. Next project: knitting a person. Enquiries: Studio Sienko, 57a Lant Street, London SE1 (0171-403 1353)

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