Exhibition  /  Schools Degree Show 2015  /  03 Nov 2015  -  01 Feb 2016
Published: 28.01.2016
The Foundling Museum
Emma Middleton

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Central Saint Martins students make jewellery in response to Foundling Museum Collection.
The Foundling Museum and Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London will launch Unpinned, an exhibition of jewellery from first year BA Jewellery Design students, on display at the Museum from 3 November.

Since 2014 the Museum has been working in partnership with the college. Forming a compulsory element of the students’ course, the current project engaged first year students studying for a BA in Jewellery Design with the rich history of the Foundling Hospital. In May the students were invited to the Museum to view the Collection and to the London Metropolitan Archives to examine the Foundling Hospital’s archives. Over a series of visits, each student produced an artistic response to the history of the Foundling Hospital, their pieces linked to an object or element of the Hospital’s story. These works were then narrowed down through a series of critiques, and approximately forty pieces will form the display Unpinned. The items on display cover a range of materials with an equally diverse number of processes on display. 
In a first for the Museum, four students have been carefully selected to sell their items of jewellery in the Foundling Museum Shop. As part of the project, each student submitted ideas for products that could be featured in the shop. From the many suggestions, an interesting range of handcrafted items have been chosen, each with a strong connection to the Collection.
A bracelet of interlinking coloured strands echoes the ballot balls selected by the mothers who hoped to leave their babies at the Foundling Hospital, while a button ring references the humbler tokens. Unpinned continues the Museum’s artistic legacy, offering fresh and engaging ways of looking at the Foundling Hospital story.

Jewellers are experts at exploring small, intimate objects and the students have applied that approach to the personal and poignant objects in the Museum’s Collection. Seen through the eyes of jewellers, the story of the Foundling Hospital has been brought to life in imaginative and exciting ways. The students have shown dedication, visiting the archive to view the tokens and the billet books, and visiting the Museum for personal research for the project. This is the second project we’ve undertaken with Central Saint Martins’ jewellery design students and teachers, and I’m very pleased to be working with artists of the future from our local university.” Giles Last, Senior Lecturer in BA Jewellery Design at Central Saint Martins said: “We have been delighted to take part in this project and further our collaboration with the Foundling Museum. The project has offered the first year students a highly valuable and unique opportunity. The challenge to originate a personal visual response in any medium, and also to design a piece to be potentially sold in the shop, is an excellent experience and chimes with how artists have worked with the Founding Hospital throughout its history. The project has given the students new insights and inspiration, along with the opportunity to show their work in an extraordinary setting to an outside audience, and to be part of the tradition of artists collaborating with the Foundling. / Emma Middleton, Curator

Unpinned will go on display in the Foundling Museum’s Introductory Gallery and Ante Room from 3 November and a selection of the student’s jewellery, along with other unique products, will go on sale in the Museum Shop.


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