If curiosity and playfulness are the driving forces of exploring space, then Safaa al-Set’s sculptures are a tour de force of creative fun. Safaa is a Syrian born artist who has fallen in love with her chosen media, metal. She manipulates sheets and rods of metal the way a child plays with scissors and cuts of paper. “I can do whatever I want with it,” says Safaa, “I can’t do the same with rock or wood. Metal is flexible. It responds and communicates with me. It is alive.”

Safaa’s latest exhibition, “Shoo?” takes shoes to a whole other dimension. Ask yourself this, if you looked in the mirror and expected a shoe image to reflect your personality, what would you look like? Each shoe is a statement of personality, of ego, of unique individual beauty. “How we relate to our clothings says a lot about who we are… it is a psychological projection,” says Safaa. And so, each one of Safaa’s shoe sculptures has a completely different character than the other. One has the organic lines and spaciousness of a flower blossom growing in a zen monastery, while another has the vertical thrust of construction work and sky-scrapers. All shoes resonate with hints of female seduction, starting from the childhood innocence of a girl discovering her mother’s fancy shoes, to that of a full-grown woman enjoying the journeys of her life with full confidence.

So the shoe is more than just a shoe. And ‘shoe, plus question mark,’ emphasizes the point of variability and constant change. It is also a question to the viewer. Don’t the shoes that we wear automatically call out for dialogue with another?

Relationship and fashion are strong elements in Safaa’s work. “What we wear says a lot about who we are. Or how we like to be perceived,” she says. “Our shoes are like a concentrated miniature of our whole being.”