Sixty Four to the Inch

A Video Installation for the Shoe Town Festival Northampton Museum and Art Gallery July 2009



Sixty Four to the Inch is a video installation commissioned as one of a series of events, performances and exhibitions that comprise Northampton Borough Council's Shoe Town Festival programme. The title is derived from the expression 'sixty four stitches to the inch', which originally referred to the superior quality of workmanship typical of footwear manufactured in Northampton.

Within the spirit of the Shoe Town Festival, Sixty Four to the Inch offers both a celebration of Northampton's shoe industry and an expression of its survival, symbolising the continuities between the towns shoemaking past and present. These continuities are made explicit in Sixty Four to the Inch: all footage was filmed in a former shoe factory (built in 1888), and on the premises of Schnieder Boots, also located within the same building.

Sixty Four to the Inch is an evocation of the daily sounds, repetitive routines and rhythms that would have characterised the working lives of a significant proportion of Northampton's population. It represents what were once the soul and the beating heart of Shoe Town.

Sixty Four to the Inch is the second part of their ongoing project Articulating History.

Conceived and produced by Jonathan Alibone and Alexander Small.

Jonathan Alibone & Alexander Small © 2008 - 2019