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Pinhole Shoes

Hetty Rose and photographer Steven Jones join forces on a collaborative collection

Currently being exhibited in the Shoe Boutique (2nd floor) of Liberty, London, Steven Jones' collaboration with bespoke shoe-designer, Hetty Jones has been entitled 'Pinhole Shoes'. The shoe collection featuring jewel colours and exotic textile patterns is a joint artistic effort with Jones' unique photographs of them taken with a pinhole camera, noted for their trademark homemade quality, looking over-exposed, delicately light damaged and beautifully one-off. Dazed speak to the photographer Steven Jones to delve a little deeper into the project.

Dazed Digital: How did you come up with the concept of 'Pinhole Shoes'?

Steven Jones: The concept came about in the first or second email to Hetty and was just a stream-of-consciousness affair.  I've made pinhole cameras in the past, but they all shot on photographic paper, so I've been looking for a good excuse to make one that shoots on film.  Home-made pinhole cameras are also, generally quite ugly, so I thought it would be lovely for this one to be an artwork in itself, and Hetty had the skill to do just that. I love the way the whole piece ties together: I made a camera, that Hetty then decorated, which I then used to shoot photos of her shoes.

DD: Why did you choose to work with Hetty Rose?
Steven Jones: I was put in contact with Hetty by Camille Lorigo, who sells Hetty's footwear from her boutique (Che Camille), in Glasgow. If you're ever in Scotland, you should make an effort to go, as it's an amazing place and Camille's a legend. I loved Hetty's work, so made contact.

DD: Is your photography mostly taken by pinhole cameras?
Steven Jones: No, I shoot in a variety of ways, using anything from an old Rolleicord TLR to a modern DSLR. My favourite camera is my old Nikon FM2n, which I bought with my first wage packet, after leaving university. I take it most places, loaded with Ilford HP5, which i then develop and print in my own darkroom.

The pinhole work came about because of my love of building things, which probably stems from all the Lego I played with as a child. Pinhole cameras force you to consider the way that light works, much more than with a conventional camera.  Once you do that, however, you soon realise that building a 360 degree, panoramic camera from a Pringles can, is quite simple.

DD: What were the inspirations for the shoes themselves?
Steven Jones: Hetty's shoes are individual pieces, made using hand-sourced, vintage, Japanese kimono fabrics. The inspiration for each pair of shoes, therefore, comes from the colours and patterns on each piece of cloth. She also works with clients to decide on things like the height of the heel, the leather and any other style elements.

DD: What do you hope to work on next?
Steven Jones: Next up is a collaboration with designer Kiki Tse, for which I'm currently trawling through the entire works of Shakespere! I also just bought some extension tubes which will allow me to fashion yet another overly-elaborate way of taking photos; this time, using my Rolleicord.