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  • thejanegower

1.Outing the heels

Updated: Oct 14, 2019

The first tentative outing of the heeled shoes piece. I’ve always enjoyed dressing up and trying out new roles from a very early age. I bought these particular shoes for a 50s party. They are outrageously pointy, iridescent Blue with gold interiors and to me they typify everything of the 50s Woman; glamour, sexiness, having all the qualities of a ‘proper’ Lady. They embody the expectations, conformity and performance of gender ,of that era. The shoes called to mind a Judith Butler quote; ‘Masculine and feminine roles are not biologically fixed but socially constructed.’

My daughter, Jo and I got these shoes out and started to lark about the kitchen in them. They evoked a certain way of walking and for us, conjured up a stereotypical role of womanhood. We practised walking like a model on the catwalk which Jo was very good at emulating but I was struggling. A character started to develop from the shoes up, of a woman desperately attempting to fit the requirements expected from these particular style of shoes and failing. A short 3 minute, scratched piece of physical theatre evolved with very little text which I performed the next day to my M.A cohort at Uni and tutor Rosa Postlewthwaite.

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