BAREFOOT PRINTS (2015)
Barefoot prints at Elk Mill, Oldham, Greater Manchester
The Barefoot Prints are a collection of 36 footprints in bronze commissioned by British Land as one of four permanent separate artworks to mark the important heritage of the former Cotton Spinning Mill at Elk Mill, Oldham.
There are essentially 3 main raised designs that children can make rubbings off. The Elk was used in the branding of Elk Mill by The Shiloh Group. The cotton plant itself, once commonly recognised by mill workers. And the words ‘Elk’ and ‘Mill’ appear with a cotton thread design. Blank footprint outlines will be available at the Management Centre for young people
In the late 19th and early 20th century employees of the cotton Mill worked barefoot to stop them slipping on the oily floor. The floor was oily as the spinning machines where oiled without ever being turned off.
Installed to sit flush within the paving blocks around the retail park the footprints hope to create interest particulary from children in the memory of the barefoot workers.
Bronze cast by London Bronze