The Foundling was a multi-discipline, video and sound installation by the artist Terry Smith.

This major new work was commissioned by Gill Hedley for the Foundling Museum’s contemporary art programme. The Foundling was constructed in a series of individual and related sequences that were developed through a series of live performances that took place over the 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 was presented in the form of a series of video pieces displayed in the Exhibition Gallery and a sound work, String, was installed on the original eighteenth century staircase. Smith also created series of photographs taken at Ashlyns School, formerly the Foundling Hospital that closed in 1956, which was be exhibited in the study studio 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 celebrated Baroque music, this piece acknowledged 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 was a collaborative project bringing together musicians, composers, sound designers and writers and cinematographers. Smith’s approach to these projects was an open collaborative process. Discussions, workshops, rehearsals and performances enabled him to construct a work that was informed and determined by the different skills and ideas of the individuals involved. The Foundling was a unique meeting of different art forms. Crucial in this collaboration was Ian Dearden, renowned composer and sound designer, Linda Hirst (vocalist), Oliver Coates (cello), Miguel Tantos (trombone) and the cinematographer Jonathan Callery. A related publication contained new texts by writer Mel Gooding.

Produced by Clare Fitzpatrick for workinprogress, The Foundling was 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. Forthcoming shows will be a solo 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).