June 13, 2022 6.00 pm

Cold Feet: Lincoln student’s sock art raising homelessness awareness

500 socks will be donated to the local YMCA after the installation

A University of Lincoln student is hoping to break stigmas and start conversations about homelessness in the city with her art installation of hanging socks on campus.

Ellie Fatharly, a 23-year-old Creative Writing student, came up with the Cold Feet public art installation when attempting to raise awareness of the homelessness issue in Lincoln, and she decided to make a statement on university campus.

From Monday, June 13 to Wednesday, June 15, 150 socks will hang from the roof of the Minerva building on the University of Lincoln campus, held there with wire for all to see over the balconies.

The socks are hanging from the roof for all on campus to see. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

The view from below as 150 multicoloured socks dangle from the roof. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

Ellie told The Lincolnite that she chose socks as the centre of her art piece because despite being a universal clothing item, they are one of the least donated to homeless charities across the country.

At the end of her project she will donate a total of 500 socks to YMCA Lincolnshire at the Nomad Centre, and Ellie hopes Cold Feet can raise vital awareness of an issue that continues to feel rather taboo in the city of Lincoln.

The installation will be in place at the Minerva Building on the University of Lincoln campus until Wednesday, June 15. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

Ellie is delighted with how it has gone so far, as well as the support she received from the university. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

“I really loved the idea of everyone needing to own socks, so I used them as symbolism. I think there are metaphors involved throughout, they are the closest intimate clothing I could display without being offensive and have no gender attached to them.

“It’s all about raising awareness of being friendly to people again and acknowledging homeless people are people too, as well as bringing back community to the forefront of discussion.

“Homeless people are so very easily discarded, I want to bring lost voices and identities back to the conversation.”

A total of 150 socks are on display, but 500 will be donated to YMCA Lincolnshire in total. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

Catch Ellie’s Cold Feet public art piece at the south side of the Minerva building. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite

Ellie has seen a positive response so far, but also acknowledged that the installation was about much more than the amount of people who stopped to look at it.

She added: “Some people will stop and engage with it while some will just walk by it and that’s okay – it’s much like the interaction process with homeless people in general.

“Even one person finding out about it and joining in the discussion is enough, at the end of the day the product is going to a good cause and even if I am just donating them with next to nobody seeing it, I’ve still done a good thing.”

For more information on Ellie’s installation, visit her website here.

Raising awareness and donating to a good cause all in one go. | Photo: Ellis Karran for The Lincolnite