Blanket for a Foundling


The parent, when handing over a child to the Foundling Hospital, was encouraged to leave a piece of cloth to identify themselves in the event of returning for their child and this was cut from their baby’s clothing or their own. This piece considered the significance of the cut, the separation of a part from a whole and the hole this must have left behind. Although the foundlings were looked after, fed and educated they did not get the warmth and affection normally associated with family life. A blanket usually offers warmth and comfort, but this blanket of glass beads does not offer that sense of protection, it is mostly made up of holes. The parent also left a token behind, sometimes a piece of jewellery. A second-hand double stringed necklace of artificial pearls was woven into the blanket and opened out to form a larger gaping hole – the mother’s loss.

Finding, group exhibition at Foundling Museum 2014

Photography: Jack Cole