Emblems For The Future was a display of works created in partnership with Mind in Camden, with artist Katriona Beales. The works respond to the Foundling Hospital’s coat of arms designed by William Hogarth in 1747. In Hogarth’s original design, a young naked child is flanked by the figures of Nature and Britannia, with a lamb above. The lamb became emblematic of the Foundling Hospital, used in many ways – on buttons on the children’s uniforms, on cutlery and on china. The fact that this symbol is still in use hundreds of years later speaks to the power of images.
Over a period of eight weeks, the participants experimented with collage to devise their own coat of arms, firstly for the Museum and then for themselves. Combining text and image these visually rich designs express a part of themselves that is often hidden, and articulate their hopes for the future. Each participant then selected an element from their coat of arms to develop into an emblem, all of which have been brought together in a print which communicates their hopes and expressions. This print was displayed on the first floor of the Museum, alongside some of the original collage works.