27 May – 4 September 2016
Curated by Cornelia Parker, the exhibition brings together a series of items that reflect on what it means to be 'found'.
The Foundling Museum, formerly a hospital for abandoned young children, holds a collection of tokens that, in the 18th century, were left by mothers with their babies as a form of identification in case they were ever able to return to reclaim them. As well as specially embroidered ribbons, heirlooms of jewellery and coins laboriously engraved with initials, there are many more modest offerings such as a hairpin, a playing card and even a hazelnut.
These poignant items are the inspiration behind this exhibition for which Cornelia Parker – also on the Museum of the Year judging panel – has invited 60 individuals from across art, literature and music to each contribute an object that relates to the theme.
In some instances it may have been specially created for the display, in others it may be an existing work or a personal memento that has related significance. ‘In order for something to be “found”, it has to at some point in its history been “lost”’, Parker says of her interest behind the pieces on display.
The artist is known for her shrewd collaborations; on previous projects she has employed the skills of a Nobel Prize-winning scientist and ammunition experts at The British Army, while her modern day interpretation of the Magna Carta was hand stitched by prison inmates, high profile politicians, bishops and the founder of Wikipedia, on which the tapestry text was based.
Found is no exception, with Parker bringing together a varied mix of curiousities from participants that include Phyllida Barlow, Jarvis Cocker, Richard Deacon, Tacita Dean, Jeremy Deller, Brian Eno, Antony Gormley, David Shrigley, Wolfgang Tillmans and Rachel Whiteread.