Our STOA169 Story – Ocean Sole

Ocean Sole X STOA169

Last year we were approached by Bernd Zimmer to design and make a column for STOA169, which we were really excited and delighted to be included in such a hall of art.

We love making different animals of all shapes and sizes but working on this project allowed us freedom of creativity and came up with something that we had never made before.

Our artists truly are talented and have practised and perfected their skills for years. People are shocked at how capable they are and that the design options when sculpting with flip flops are truly limitless and this can be seen with our column.

The STOA169 Concept:

STOA169 is a sight to be seen, located in Polling, Germany this gorgeous outdoor structure is supported by over 100 columns, designed by some of the worlds most critically acclaimed artists.

Its synopsis between nature and art is mesmerizing and although each column is very different from one another, they seem to fit together perfectly.

Bernd Zimmer who is the artist behind STOA169 has been working on the concept for over 30 years. His idea behind this installation stemmed from a trip he took in South India in 1990. Whilst on his travels he was greatly influenced by the impressive porticoes of the Hindu temples, where each column is individually shaped.

The Concept Behind our Column:

Our idea for STOA169 came from the fact that we wanted to show the world a part of Kenya, and the medium we use to create and perfectly sculpt our pieces.

We wanted to tell the world about the impact the ocean and flip flop pollution is having on our ecosystems and how we have been able to not only make a difference to the communities in Kenya but the environment.

The three different giraffe heads represent a different pillar in the three pillars of sustainability, these are - social, environmental and economic which is what Ocean Sole stands for.

There are two main aspects that fundamentally underpin the work we do at Ocean Sole. Firstly, we pride ourselves on the work our team does on the ground at the beaches, waterways and landfills around Kenya.

Cleaning these areas and educating the community on how to protect our beautiful ecosystems. Secondly, we are passionate about spreading awareness on endangered and vulnerable animals, not only those indigenous to Kenya but all around the world.

The Meaning Behind our Column:

Our column is called “Twiga Tower”. Giraffes, in our eyes, are the best representation of what Ocean Sole both stands and hopes for. The long neck and tall nature of these animals symbolise “looking into the future”. Tied in with the recycling of flip flops to support our belief that our oceans will be clean one day. The multitude of colours can be interpreted in different ways. However, to us, each piece of flop flop tells a story about the person who wore them, the different lives they might have had.

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