Thursday 7 December 2006

'The gentle craft'

Professor Peter McNeil gave a stunning Craft Victoria Annual Lecture at the National Gallery of Victoria last night. Taking the line that things have an agency of their own, McNeil outlined the issues involved in object-centred research. There fascinating observations about the vicissitudes of the shoe trade, the dilemmas of collecting shoes and the passions surrounding their consumption. One question raised was that the very strongly gendered quality of shoes, despite feet being relatively similar anatomically for men and women. One exception was Prada, the subject of the film The Devil Wears Prada, but also the supplier of footwear for the pontif. An excellent precis of McNeil's book Shoes: A History from Sandals to Sneakers, great preview for the Sneakers upcoming show at the NGV, and a wonderful celebration of shoe-making, 'the gentle craft'.


Anonymous said...

IT sounds like it was a fantastic lecture, although I hate to dissapoint but Prada shoes are NOT the subject of the film The Devil Wears Prada! Perhaps a little more research is in order.

Kevin Murray said...

Peter was referring to the film's publicity, which showed a red shoe with a pitch fork for heels.