In this project, care-experienced young people aged 16-25 journeyed through the past, exploring how the history of care resonates with them. Using the medium of textiles and inspired by the experiences and routines of children and young people (Foundlings) in the Foundling Hospital from 1739 onwards, they produced a “narrative blanket”.
Working our partners in the Foundling Museum and artist and activist Nicole Harris, they explored the action of ‘folding’ – inspired by the way ‘billets’ were folded to hold the tokens for the Foundlings – as well as the action that is evident in folding down a bed. The project imagines the foundlings folding their bed sheets, linen and night clothes as well as their dreams.
Using various textile techniques, the young people produced a series of sample books that explored the themes of sleep and dreams – a folded reality. The bed itself was seen as something to be interacted with and touched – something the group said the bed would have missed the most – companionship, cuddles, reading books.
The sample books in the final result, use the batik, heat transfer, poetry, dream drawings and shibhori dye to mirror non narrative structures of night time and dreaming. Textile samples akin to the billet books become like a sampling of people’s lives.
In 2022 Coram’s Voices Through Time narrative blanket – Folded Reality will be shown at the Foundling Museum and then go on tour to museums around the country.