Chinese Bound Feet Project
Jenni Dutton working with the collection of
Chinese shoes at the County Museum, Taunton,
for the Footsteps touring show, 2004-5.

Artist statement.

It was shocking to see and hold the exquisitely made but pitiful. tiny embroidered shoes held in the reserve collection of the County Museum, Taunton. The implication to inform my own work was clearly to use the shoes as an extension of my preoccupation with making empty clothing. I needed to explore the issues of cultural difference, researching shoes as a potent symbol in art and literature and placing this into a current contextual framework.

In practical terms this will extend my practice, as I need to work on a smaller scale and learn new techniques of construction and decoration. I am aware that other issues will be raised during the project and I am planning to include these outcomes in workshops for schools and colleges that support and compliment my work and are appropriate to the aim of widening appreciation and participation in museum collections.



1) to increase my understanding of the issues around the subject.
2) to reflect the feeling of vulnerability evident in the pair of shoes that I have chosen to work with, by developing ways of expressing this feeling through the use of techniques and materials that are new to me.
3) to establish and develop a working relationship with the museum in Taunton by broadening the access to the museum collection.
4) to find ways of translating this project to other groups.


a) to research the topic through the variety of sources available
b) to experiment with broken glass to construct 3 dimensional forms using a mixture of copper foiling and suitable bonding methods.
c) in conjunction with Walford Mill and Taunton Museum staff, write workshops for a variety of age groups appropriate to the stated aim of the widening participation in museum collections.