Cope's installation narrates the journey of love as a means of self-help through a series of extraordinary handcrafted leather shoes and objects each carrying symbolic meanings and messages. With a creative process at the intersection of fashion, art, and craft, Cope goes far beyond conventional shoe-making aesthetics and techniques, developing new processes and functions all the time to redefining the boundaries of footwear. The original collection 'The Language of Feet in the Walk of Life' is an evolving piece of work, reflecting Cope’s visionary approach. With new pieces continually added to extend its meaning; as new life lessons are learnt. Constant throughout the collection is design that embodies real human experiences and a self-therapeutic approach. In a testament to the high craftsmanship involved, the ‘Looking for Love’ double ended relationship shoes took five months to create and are over one metre in length. Audiences are encouraged to look, think and reflect upon their own relationships with others, and more importantly their own selves.
She seeks to redefine fashion’s potential future as something that has a deeper language, value and purpose. The opening night at the YKK London Showroom will also include a performance. Entitled 'Lessons in Love', a new collaborative work where Cope partners with Antonio de la Fe, a Spanish born choreographer based in London. The work seeks to bring the shoes to life through a four part written score. The live performance has been inspired by their joint interest in working with both words and body, and to explore the relationship between conceptual footwear and dance as progressive practice. London performance art partners Antonio Branco and Riccardo Tarocco will conduct the performance.
Cope said: 'The pieces on display at the YKK London Showroom and the performance as part of the opening night have been developed specifically for this collaboration and the London Craft Week event. I think the subject of Love is something that everyone can relate to and the performance is highly experimental, I am so excited to see it come to life on the night as not even the performers will know what to expect until they pick up the score on the night, their responses and actions will be truly live.'
With a BA Fashion Design degree from Nottingham Trent University, Cope recently returned to education after working with galleries and running her own studio for the last decade, to complete an MA in the prestigious Fashion Artefacts course at the London College of Fashion. This developed her high-end craft skills alongside conceptual practice. Cope is a part time lecturer and guest speaker at a number of universities, delivering modules and directing courses and workshops across art and design disciplines.
YKK London Showroom
154 Commercial Street
E1 6NU London
Opening Times: Monday – Friday: 9am -5pm Saturday – Sunday: Closed.
More information and shoes by Jo Cope at the VirtualShoeMuseum.