The Threads of Feeling Exhibition at the Foundling Hospital in London ....
Whilst staying with Danielle before going off to West Dean on the Julie Arkell papier mache course we went to see the Threads of Feeling Exhibition at the Foundling Hospital. What can I say .... tragic, poignant - completely unmissable as far as I was concerned! Can there be anything more heartfelt than a tiny scrap of fabric left with a child, by a mother with no alternative but to hand over her child in order that it might stand a chance of survival - I think not. The tokens were left as a 'mark for distinction' a way identifying a child in the unlikely event that circumstances changed and the child could be reclaimed at a later date. Tragically, approximately two thirds of the children who were admitted died.
The tiny tokens, some fabric, some treasured objects, some embroidered with names, some tiny bits of ribbon or cloth carried an enormous amount of emotion through the centuries. If objects speak to us these shouted out loud! Objects have always carried meaning for me and these tiny
pieces were always going to make me cry - and they did - the only surprise was it took me until the third row of exhibits! My sister, Lynda, was telling people I had to go crying in London before I went to West Dean on my course!
The most heartrending for me was the patchwork piece, made with love and cut in two - part left with the baby and part kept by the mother ................... it speaks volumes - doesnt it?