The Foundling is a multi-discipline, video and sound installation by the artist Terry Smith, which opens at the Foundling Museum on Wednesday 7 October 2009. This major new work has been commissioned by Gill Hedley for the Foundling Museum’s contemporary art programme.

The Foundling is constructed in a series of individual and related sequences that have been developed through a series of live performances that have taken place over the last year. Lost and Found for Tete a Tete Opera Festival was shown at the Riverside Studios in August 2008; Hide and Seek – a promenade piece was performed at the Foundling Museum in April 2009 and Sticks AND STONES at St Georges Church, Venice, at the 53rd Venice Biennale

The installation will be presented in the form of a series of video pieces displayed in the dedicated Exhibition Gallery as well as throughout the period interiors of the Museum. A sound work will be installed on the original eighteenth century staircase. Smith has also created works on paper, exhibited in the café space.  Using found images and sounds as well as deconstructed scores by Handel and Vivaldi, the foundling plays with ideas of the hidden and the lost. In a year which celebrates Baroque music this piece acknowledges the active contributions that Handel and Vivaldi both made to institutions in London and Venice respectively, dedicated to giving vulnerable and destitute children a second chance at life.

The Foundling is a collaborative project bringing together musicians, composers, sound designers and writers and cinematographers. Smith’s approach to these projects is an open collaborative process. Discussions, workshops, rehearsals and performances have enabled him to construct a work that is informed and determined by the different skills and ideas of the individuals involved. The Foundling is a unique meeting of different art forms.  Crucial in this collaboration is Ian Dearden, renowned composer and sound designer, Linda Hirst (vocalist), Oliver Coates (cello), Miguel Tantos (trombone), the cinematographer Jonathan Callery, and the actor Julian Bird. A related publication will contain new texts by writer Mel Gooding.

Produced by Clare Fitzpatrick for workinprogress, The Foundling is supported by The Foundling Museum, The Arts Council of England and The Foyle Foundation, The University of the Arts, Wimbledon.

Terry Smith was awarded the prestigious 2008 Paul Hamlyn Award to Artists. His work was featured in this year’s Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, where he was invited to show a video work in a room curated by the artist Richard Wilson. In October he is showing small sculpture works in a show curated by Triple V at the LHK Galerie in Paris and at the Free Art Fair at the Barbican. His drawings will be shown in Seoul, Korea in the autumn of 2009. Forthcoming shows will be a retrospective curated by David Thorp at the John Hansard Gallery, early 2011. He is currently the Drawing Fellow at the Wimbledon College of Art (2008/10).



recording session