Captain Thomas Coram & Mr George Frideric Handel by Rozanne Hawksley
15 November 2011 - 08 January 2012
Fine artist, Rozanne Hawksley, produces work which encompasses both the universal and intensely personal. Exploring the fragility of the human condition Rozanne presents Captain Coram & Mr Handel, an exploration of the Foundling Hospital’s original lottery admission and the philanthropic aims of George Frideric Handel and Thomas Coram. This installation is presented on an eighteenth-century refectory table in the Museum's Committee Room.
The table will be swathed with cream cloth and at either end will be a cuffed glove – each denoting its owner. In Handel’s case, the cuff is of fine silk and hand embroidered. In Coram’s case it is of plain woollen cloth, scuffed and worn a little, with minimal decoration. The central motif on the table will be a drawing of the main original gate of the Foundling Hospital. In the form of a cartouche, reaching out to this, across a map of London’s streets, will be a skeletal hand. It will hold three balls, representing the lottery for the admission of foundlings after the open-door policy had to be changed owing to the terrifying numbers of children abandoned at the gates.
Rozanne Hawksley comments; “I have been moved by the philanthropy of Captain Coram and Mr Handel. Also closely involved in the foundation and early years of the Hospital was William Hogarth. He had backed the idea of the Hospital, had donated some of his paintings to the cause and was one of the first governors. The three men contacted many wealthy, landed people and The Coram Foundation, as it is called, continues to help needy children and families today. My own small contribution is of my time, work and materials in the hope that I can myself in a small way help the Foundation to continue.”
A limited edition of broadsheets in collaboration with the Mulfran Press, Prof. Tony Curtis and Rozanne Hawksley are available at the Foundling Museum shop as well as a hardback catalogue of Rozanne Hawksley written by Mary Schoeser, published by Lund Humphries.
Exhibition organised in collaboration with Renée Pfister
Image: © Rozanne Hawksley and Nicola O’Neill
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