Rachel Whiteread – Bronze shoe heel and instep
The exhibition involves nearly sixty artists, each of whom has contributed a single ‘found’ item – either ‘found’ in terms of a revelation it prompted within their own work and practice, or an object possessing special meaning for them that they discovered and were compelled to keep.
“A few months before his own death he showed me one of the sticks that he used to stir his paint when he decorated the house. He had cut the end off with a saw, revealing many concentric rings of paint that had accumulated over the years. It seemed as though he had exhausted the possibilities of his photographs and wanted to find a new way on looking back on his life. I found myself looking back on my own past too – when I scrutinised the layers of paint I started to recognise the colours of my childhood. I saw the greyish green of our 1950s kitchen cupboards and the bright orange that covered the walls of our hallway in the 1960s. I realised that this paint-covered scrap of wood, less than 3 centimetres in diameter, was a record of more than 60 years of a family’s history.”
Tokens given by mothers to their children on leaving them at the Foundling Hospital. 18th Century