putting the boots in the perspex box
dry/damp boots in box
Water was added.
Close up of water in the perspex box.
Water starting to decay the boots days later.
Boots began to break down
The water was cracking the boots.
(Photographer: Sarah Wafer) (Where Men Once Stood Only Memories Remain, Terracotta, 15-18cm long, 4cm wide and 7-8 cm high, 2014)
Where Men Once Stood Only Memories Remain
It has been a 100 years since the First World War, so I wanted to create work which a myriad of audiences can relate to and to commemorate the soldiers commitment and sacrifice. I have been immersing myself with an understanding of the conditions that soldiers were living with and the injuries they were forced to live with.
The terracotta boots are all sculpted individually each with markings of fingerprints pressed into them. The boots which are 'standing at attention' are sculpted in different sizes from 15-18cm long, 4cm wide and 7-8 cm high, this represents the individuals during the war and the different age ranges.
This is a impermanent sculpture which over time will disintegrate. As the boots are unfired the water will be absorbed and over time the boots will start to crack and decay. This represents trench foot, a common condition during the First World War. The boots will decompose at different stages because of the variation of size, many were completely dry and others completely wet. I decided to display the boots on a wood plinth with pallets across the top, as this was a key material whilst building trenches.