Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Re: Threads of Feeling

"From 1741 to 1756, women leaving their babies at the Foundling Hospital were invited to leave a token with the child as means of identification should they ever be in the unlikely position to return and reclaim them [...] These textile fragments, held at present in billet books at the London Metropolitan Archives, are too fragile to be put on permanent display. They have been touched by few and still bear the experience of the maker and the wearer. Close inspection reveals the hand-stitching that seals a hem or finished a cuff - a link to the individual who wore them more than 250 years ago and a reminder of their desperate plight and awful decision." (Selvedge Magazine, n.36 Sept/Oct 2010)

I find this to be an extraordinary redefining of fashion's ability to create identity. Fabric is an amazing medium in terms of its ability to retain memory, and this just reminds me how seriously undervalued it is in the art world.

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