The Art & Sole Cortez iD Project:      Shantell Martin

To celebrate the release of the new mini edition Art & Sole book, we've collaborated with NIKEiD on an artists project which includes four special edition Art & Sole covers, and four Nike Cortez sneakers. In addition to our feature special on the Art & Sole Cortez iD Project, we thought we'd catch up with all the artists involved and ask them about the artwork they created for the project. Next up is visual artist Shantell Martin...

Can you tell us a little about your background and your work?
The begining is always a great place to start. Born in South East London, I grew up in Thamesmead on that lovely council estate; you know where Misfits was filmed. I had an interesting perspective on the world as a child growing up in a very white, working class, racist environment with my brown skin and afro - unlike my blond n' blue-eyed siblings. I mention this because I feel that if this was not my social background I don’t think I would have gone on the creative path of really wanting to know who am I. This question has taken me to art school (Camberwell and then later Central Saint Martins) and has lead me to travel and live all over the world using my art as a way of connecting and interacting with people and spaces.

What is the title of the piece you've created for this project?
Run as YOU. We all run for different reasons.

How did you choose to interpret the brief - can you explain the concept behind your piece?
When creating the piece I was thinking about: running, green and the Cortez shoe. I chose to start with a green mobile dot which represents the atom; ‘a basic unit of matter that consists of a dense central nucleus surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons'. This atom is one very tiny part of the Nike Cortez shoe that is discovered and then in turn taken on a journey to find the origin of its name. Once observed the atom slowly returns to its original singular form (see video below).

How was it working only with the colour assigned to you?
My assigned green colour worked really well as a subtle accent to the predominantly black and white piece. Green is my favorite colour right now, so am happy to see it pop up so many times.

Finally, what were the production processes involved in creating the piece?
I'm guessing I drew live on my computer for about five or six hours. I record what I do as I go along, then most of the work is in the editing.

With thanks to Shantell Martin.
Visit our feature special to see more on the Art & Sole Cortez iD Project

To see more of Martin's work, click here

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