For this major exhibition, Foundling Fellow Cornelia Parker has invited over sixty outstanding artists from a range of creative disciplines to respond to the theme of ‘found’, reflecting on the Museum’s heritage.
Combining new and existing work with found objects kept for their significance, the exhibition unfolds throughout the Museum, interacting with historic works in the Collection and with each other. Parker’s inspiration has in part been taken from the Museum’s eighteenth-century tokens – small objects left by mothers with their babies as a means of identification should they ever return to claim their child.
Artists participating in FOUND include: Ron Arad, Phyllida Barlow, Jarvis Cocker, Richard Deacon, Tacita Dean, Jeremy Deller, Brian Eno, Antony Gormley, Mona Hatoum, Thomas Heatherwick, Christian Marclay, Mike Nelson, David Shrigley, Wolfgang Tillmans, Edmund de Waal, Mark Wallinger, Marina Warner, Rachel Whiteread and Jeanette Winterson.
More than twenty Royal Academicians have contributed to the show, echoing the role that the Foundling Hospital played in the development of the Royal Academy. Founded in 1739 to care for babies at risk of abandonment, the Foundling Hospital was supported by the leading artists of the day, many of whom donated work, thanks to the revolutionary involvement of the artist William Hogarth and the composer George Frideric Handel. The Royal Academy’s origins can be traced back to the collective mobilisation of artists and the promotion of British art that took place at the Hospital during the eighteenth century.