The Global Shoe Project Organizers
About Stella Meades
Before my mother died in 1992, she gave me a bundle of letters that she and my father had exchanged while he was away fighting in World War II. In the margins of the letters were little drawings by my then three-year old self of some of my daily activities. Hovering over the most benign of images were bombers. Seeing these and reading the letters, I realized how profoundly the backdrop of fear and the separation from my father had affected me and were continuing to affect me in some ways into my adulthood. I began to explore the effects of war on children through my artwork, culminating in the installation footnote in 1996.
Soon after completing footnote my husband and I moved from Winnipeg to Parksville, British Columbia, where we were engaged for several years in the peaceful activities of gardening and building a workshop, a studio, and finally our home. Then in December 2006 this current project, Footsteps, began to take shape in my mind.
Stella Meades and grandson Evan.
About Connie Cohen, without whom this project would not have moved as fast as it has. Connie has been a close friend since our art school days in the mid-90's. Modestly describing herself as a sous-chef on this project, she has collaborated with me and helped to shape it since it's inception. A visual artist in her own right as well as a retired clinical psychologist, her artwork reflects her interest in the psychological, with themes of memory, relationships, and the effects on people of their social and interpersonal environments.
Very Sadly, Connie passed away September 9th, 2007 after a two year struggle with ovarian cancer. I will miss her very much.
In January, 2007, Connie and I emailed a few friends with information about the project. At the time we were two internet innocents hoping that, over the next 18 months, we might find 800 artists who were interested in joining us in this project. We have since become much wiser in regards to the tremendous potential this form of communication represents. For the next few months email responses poured in and by August all the shoes were gone.