Okay so I knew The Rise of Sneaker Culture at the Art Gallery Of WA would be interesting and professional. What I hadn’t realised was that it’d be utterly fascinating, highly educational and ultimately inspiring. While there’s absolutely no way I can do it justice, especially not in one post, I can give you a flavour of some of the highlights for me.
First up the sheer volume of the exhibition. It’s a great workout in itself. Then there’s the professional looking displays. The exhibition is stunning. How would you have displayed several hundred pairs of years old sneakers?
Most of all though it’s the stories behind the sneakers. To be honest I don’t always read the signs next to the paintings in the gallery (shhh don’t tell anyone) but I urge you to do so this time. By reading the panels I found out that …
Michael Jordon’s gold shoes were different sizes to accommodate his size 11 and 10.5 feet. I was super lucky to actually be there to watch him run in these once. One of those pinch me moments which the exhibition enabled me to relive.
A humble looking kangaroo inspired sneaker that has a secret pouch and is one of only 60 pairs.
A minty fresh looking shoe based on The Astor Theatre, yes Perth’s Astor Theatre, for the 25th anniversary. 1 of 1 pair.
Then there are the extremely rare prototypes complete with mark ups, like this moon boot by artist Tom Sachs.
Some of the older styles are stunning. Amazing that they’re still in such good condition. The exhibition is held under soft lights to make sure they don’t degrade any further.
Then there’s the ‘pump’ pair made out of tennis ball material. Wonder why we haven’t seen any modern day players using these? They might help mop up some of the sweat.
And the ones with the Obama foot tread.
As I sit here a day later still pondering what I’ve seen my advice is …
- The exhibition is discretely educational in so many ways, sure you’ll learn about shoe design but also branding, marketing and heaps of pop culture references.
- Make sure you eat lunch before setting off on the journey and leave enough time to really get involved with what you’re seeing.
- Be prepared to be dwarfed by hundreds of those rarely seen creatures … the 6 foot plus lanky male Australian teenager. They were everywhere on Saturday. I’ve never seen so many in one place.
- This is yet another must seel exhibition from the Gallery. Thank god it’s on for a while. Many thanks for bringing it to us.
Stay tuned for more from this exhibition. In the meantime make sure you get to see this one. It’s FREE!!
For more information go to Art Gallery of WA
Value, can't believe it's free