After finishing a doctorate in psychology at Oxford University, Peter Coles moved to Paris where he worked as a journalist and photographer for 20 years, completing a major body of work called Paris Traces on abandoned objects, which has been exhibited in Paris and Rome and has featured in magazines, including The Independent on Sunday. He now lives in London as a writer, editor and fine art photographer and is working on a book on ancient urban trees. Since 2007 Peter has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths, University of London, where he teaches on the M.A. in Photography and Urban Cultures.
This series is part of a larger work called Paris Traces on anonymous communication between people through objects left on the streets. Paris has few charity shops, so Parisians sometimes leave their unwanted shoes out for a passer-by to take. They are usually placed neatly in a prominent place and seldom stay there for long. I never rearrange the shoes and only photograph pairs that seem to have have been left deliberately. I started the project in the mid-1990s and, as it depends entirely on chance discoveries, I use whichever camera I have with me at the time.www.petercoles.net