Shoe Tree in Heaton

30 05 2011

Posted by Jun

About a year ago, when I went for a walk in Jesmond Dene, I bumped into this slightly mysterious scene of trees on which hundreds and hundreds of shoes were hung, in Armstrong Park. According to a web page, young people throw their shoes up to the branches celebrating the end of their exams whilst I imagined, secretly, a more melancholic story like out-grown feet of adolescence and their leaving old shoes.

Repetitive actions of anonymous individuals can be found elsewhere too. Piles of rock built one by one, by mountain climbers can be easily found in mountains in Korea. Some people say that it was a kind of ritual of asking mountain goblins not to disturb their journeys. Also, I saw a bicycle-tire tree in Hulme,Manchester, which was less attractive than the shoe tree.

By the way, the best part of this shoe tree is that there is an annual harvest(!) of shoes because the numbers of shoes need to be controlled in order to protect the trees.





2 responses

31 05 2011
Lizzie Bird

Never knew the shoes got harvested – amazing! What happens to them? Do the shoes just get thrown away?!

1 06 2011

Jun, it was the first time to hear about this shoes tree, sounds really interesting and I’m sure it was a chock for you when you saw it for the first time. While I was in Paris I was walking next to Notre Dame de Paris where I found an interesting anonymous piece of work, it was made of locks caring people’s names or the first letter of their names connected to a steel mish on the river side, the idea of it is to lock the lock on the mish and through the key in the river, then the love between the couple will stay forever.
I found it a very spontaneous way to express love between couples; in addition to that, it creates a nice piece of art that carries very nice meanings, memories and feeling of anonymous passers on the face of Paris, the city of love.

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