Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #161: Feet and Shoes

A special thanks to our inspiring Ann-Christine for giving us a unique challenge this week. The humble foot.

Big Shoes, Little Shoes

I’m going to start with an old, but favorite image taken in Meier Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This giant bronze statue, The American Horse, was designed by the sculptor Nina Akamu. Her work was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s design for the world’s largest horse commissioned by the Duke of Milan in 1482. Her massive 24-foot horse dwarfs the children playing underneath. (Full disclosure: The horse isn’t moving. I shot this image with a Lens Baby tilt and shift lens.)

The American Horse, Meier Gardens, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Have you ever see a shoe this big? It was “planted” outside the L.L. Bean store in Freeport, Maine.

The Classic L.L. Bean boot in size Extra , Extra Large. Freeport, Maine

The Missing Shoe

On a walk along the seawall in Vancouver, B.C., I spotted a child’s pink shoe left behind on a piece of driftwood. This little shoe told me a story about the child that wore it and lost it, and whether someone was still looking for it.

Shoes That Tell a Tragic Story

Early this morning, I visited a memorial erected on the steps of the Vancouver Art Museum. It consists of 215 pairs of shoes, representing a tragic chapter in Canadian history.

In May, the remains of several hundred children were discovered on the grounds of a former indigenous residential school in Kamloops, British Columbia. A local Haida artist. Tamara Bell, created this monument on the steps of the museum to honor the memory of the 215 children who died while living at the Kamloops Indian Residential School which operated between 1890 and 1969. As you can see, visitors have added flowers, cards, candles.

This discovery has created a huge outcry in Canada, and an outpouring of grief for these children and anger at the brutality they endured. If you want to read more about it, click on The Guardian.

I’ll end this post on a much happier note. You delighted us last week with your gallery of images of inspiring people, places, food, flowers, beaches, books, and everything in between. Wow!

We hope you join the summer fun this week with Ann-Christine’s Feet and Shoes challenge. Please include a link to her original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so we can find you in the WP Reader.

Looking ahead to next week, Tina will lead LAPC#162, so be sure to visit her beautiful and inspiring site. In the meantime, have a wonderful, creative week and please stay safe.

62 replies »

  1. Thank you Patti for featuring the memorial to the lost children of the residential schools in Canada. It breaks my heart to think of them and it is a huge and shameful part of Canadian history. Sadly I believe there will be hundreds more found at other places where the schools had indigenous children who had been stolen from their parents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Anne. Oh, thank you! I feel the same way. It breaks my heart. Yes, the children were stolen and there will be more deaths. There were many indigenous schools in the USA and we haven’t started our own investigations yet. That will come soon, I hope, so the truth is revealed and the crimes are exposed. I can only shudder at the thought of the sadness that so many families have endured. This outpouring on the steps is so moving.


  2. These are really terrific Patti – I loved the little ones with the big horse and the big foot at LL Bean (I actually bought a pair of those boots for my granddaughter last Christmas!). The memorial is absolutely heartbreaking. It draws attention to the horrific findings of the mass graves in Canada- so very tragic. I cannot begin to imagine the pain of the parents whose children were simply never heard from again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Tina. Thanks!! Those boots are classic, aren’t they? I don’t think they’ve changed in decades. I had a pair, too! As for the memorial, yes, it is tragic and so sad. I’m wondering when we’re going to start an investigation into our own indigenous schools. It makes you shudder just thinking about it. So much pain. I am waiting and hoping for apologies and some justice. We’ll see if that happens. In the meantime, I hope you’re enjoying this summer day. Hopefully, it’s not too hot for golf??


    • Hi, IJ. Um…yes I think those shoes just might fit the Giant! The memorial is very moving. At night, people light candles on the steps. So very sad. I hope the skies are clearing and you can enjoy some sunshine.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the images from Vancouver. It’s a very tragic and sad story. Child abuse in places meant to protect them is a double-abuse. And here the fact of having them stolen from their parents adds a third layer

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, André. Yes. Absolutely. A third layer. So far, there’s been no apology from the church. I don’t understand why. I’m wondering when the USA is going to start their own investigation into the indigenous schools. That will be another tragedy. So, so sad.


      • tides have turned. Watch an old Wild-West movie an you can see many, many things nowadays considered as no-go’s for most of the people. I don’t want to blame anyone now in charge for bad things done in the past by others. But, at least a sincere apology should be in. (I guess, they don’t do it because of the fear of having to pay enormous amounts of compensations). On the other hand, even after getting high compensations, other reclaim they were the right receiver and didn’t get anything because the wrong people got the compensation. So bad for all 😦


  4. I haven’t read the story about the children yet, being a little out of communication in the UK, but I will. I love the ‘prancing’ horse shot, Patti. Another busy day in the offing here. 🤗💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Margaret. Yes! Quite an emotional roller coaster ride!! I think you’ll find the story very moving. Such a tragedy. But I’m glad it’s finally coming to light and the truth is finally revealed. I hope you have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, Patti – excellent as usual. Love the diversity, with fun, sadness and stories. The horse image is my favourite – very spectacular and action filled. The Canadian children were in our papers and news as well. I cried. Still do when I read this again. It is a physical pain to read and understand what happened. There will be more found I think too. A beautiful memorial.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, AC. Thank you, thank you! This one was hard to write. It’s hard to fathom the grief of all those families. And yes, there will be more discoveries, I’m sure. One more site was already announced. As for the horse, it’s a favorite. I love Meier Gardens. The sculpture park is amazing. The horse was one of fifty or so sculptures on the grounds. I hope you have a wonderful week. Enjoy the summer sun1.


    • Hi, Beth. Oh please post your boot, too!! It would be fun to see your shot. That’s a fun store, but I wish they were still producing the luggage I loved. Now it’s mostly duffle-type cases. We’ve had to find other brands. Too bad. As for the children, yes, it’s so sad. I feel for all those families who lost children. The memorial is so moving. Are you sweltering in the heat? Today, the heat broke in Vancouver. It’s cool and rainy. I don’t mind! Have a good week.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What happened to those children is so sad, and the memorial too them very appropriate and moving. I like how people have been able to leave their own tributes between the shoes.

    On a brighter note, that horse sculpture must be huge!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Sarah. Yes! 24 feet high. It’s magnificent. One of the highlights in that amazing sculpture park. I hope you get to see it someday. I also hope you have a great week! Thanks as always for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Patti

    Wow, those horse feet are astoundingly huge! I love that LL Bean boot ; I have the dame exact boots, although mine are much more dainty, thank goodness. You have wonderful and moving photos in your post. Thought-provoking actually. Thank you for them.

    Here’s my submission. Did you know that herons have webbed toes?

    Mute Swans Saturday Night Bath Time

    Best, Babsje

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, John. Thank you! And yes. The horse is magnificent! As for your thoughts on man’s inhumanity, sadly, I have to agree. I keep looking for those moments of humanity amidst the maelstrom. 😀😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The Photos are great, but what really grabbed me was the one of all the shoes at the Museum.
    I hope that the abuses our people suffered are looked into here, however, unless some very influencial voices start speaking up about it, I am sad to say I wonder if it will happen.
    I am 1/4 Comanche and have no idea if my Grandfather was one of those educated at an indian school or not.
    Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Sassy. Nice to meet you! I’m delighted you stopped by and commented on this post. It is even more powerful, given your heritage. I hope that your grandfather wasn’t sent to one of the residential schools. It’s a very, very sad chapter in our history. I agree that some influential voices need to speak up about it. I think the outpouring of grief here in Vancouver shows that people are deeply moved and saddened by these discoveries. Take care and stay well, too.


  9. Yes! The LL Bean boot! With the challenge, it crossed my mind, but I don’t have a photo of it. And the memorial, while sad is quite beautiful, and I am sure many find it a great place for reflection. Donna

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Donna. I always appreciate your comments and reactions. Thanks. Yes, the memorial is sad and beautiful. It’s created quite a strong reaction here. People are rightly shocked. I hope you’re doing well during this crazy summer.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Ana. Many thanks! I know what you mean about the children’s shoes. What a tragedy. So much suffering for them and their families. When people in authority victimize children they are the lowest of the low. Take care, too, Ana. I hope all’s well with you and your loved ones.

      Liked by 1 person

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