Nottingham

Nottingham Trent students' shoe art to aid homeless

Gill Howell-Jones Image copyright Nottingham Trent University
Image caption 70-year-old artist Gill Howell-Jones came up with the idea of decorating shoes to raise money for the homeless

Thirty pairs of uniquely decorated shoes are to be auctioned to buy trainers for homeless people.

Inspired by 70-year-old student Gill Howell-Jones, other art students at Nottingham Trent University have customised the footwear.

Ms Howell-Jones is studying art more than 50 years after originally turning down a place because she was advised it would not give her a career.

She said she intends to use old shoes from the homeless in her own art.

Image copyright Nottingham Trent University
Image caption Many of the shoes carry designs inspired by issues surrounding homelessness

The white canvas footwear has been decorated with paints, sculpture and ceramics.

Ms Howell-Jones turned down a chance to study art at Nottingham Art College - which eventually became Nottingham Trent University - in 1963.

She said: "It's funny to think that I've come full circle back to the university I first applied to.

"Working in an environment with young artists has been interesting as well as a new challenge, but it has been great to work in a creative environment where everyone supports each other regardless of age."

Ms Howell-Jones has a partnership with Emmanuel House, a support centre in Nottingham for homeless and vulnerable adults.

Denis Tully, chief executive of Emmanuel House, said: "Gill's idea of decorating shoes is a brilliant way to highlight this issue.

"At Emmanuel House, shoes and feet are often the focus of need and care in helping someone take the next step out of homelessness and into settlement."

The shoes will be auctioned via silent bidding at a pop up gallery at West End Arcade, Nottingham, on Saturday.

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