Our #FoundlingPortraitsCampaign is in full swing, raising money so we can give a face to the 25,000 faceless Foundling children, given into the care of the Foundling Hospital between 1741 and 1954.
Reaching our goal of £15,000 by 31 July will mean we can commission five leading photographers to create portraits of some of the remarkable men and women who make up the last generation of Foundling pupils admitted to the care of the Hospital in the 1940s and 50s – the last living connection to our 300-year history. These portraits will be added to our collection, to hang alongside the great 18th-century portraits and to continue the story of great artists supporting young lives.
But just who will be the five exceptional artists to undertake the photography commission if we reach our target? Our impressive line-up is made up of Wolfgang Tillmans, Eileen Perrier, David Moore, Jillian Edelstein and Mahtab Hussain.
Wolfgang Tillmans is a German photographer. His diverse body of work is distinguished by observation of his surroundings and an ongoing investigation of the photographic medium’s foundations. Tillmans was the first photographer – and also the first non-British person – to be awarded the Tate annual Turner Prize. He has also been awarded the Hasselblad Award, the Royal Photographic Society’s Centenary Medal, the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition’s Charles Wollaston Award, The Culture Prize of the German Society for Photography, and is an Academician of the Royal Academy of Arts.
Eileen Perrier comes from a cultural background of Ghanaian and Dominican descent, which has presented her with questions around identity, diversity and placement. Her work has been widely exhibited since 1999, including The Photographers’ Gallery, Tate Britain, The Whitechapel Gallery, the touring exhibition Africa Remix – which included the Hayward Gallery, and The Centre Pompidou. Perrier is currently a Senior Lecturer in Photography at The University of Westminster.
British social commentary artist, Mahtab Hussain, uses photography to explore the important relationship between identity, heritage and displacement. His themes develop through long-term research articulating a visual language that challenges the prevailing concepts of multiculturalism.
David Moore is a London based photographic artist using and interrogating documentary modes. Described as a ‘Northern Eggleston’ by the writer, Sean ‘o’ Hagan, his current practice addresses agency and a critique of documentary as a genre using installation and theatre as a means posing questions around the production of knowledge through photography. He has exhibited and published internationally and has work held in public and private collections. He is the Course Leader of MA Documentary Photography and Photojournalism at the University of Westminster
Award-winning, London based Jillian Edelstein captures the ordinary and the extraordinary through her photography. She began working as a press photographer in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her portraits have appeared internationally in publications including The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Vogue, GQ and Esquire. She is currently working on several photographic projects including a film documentary about the screenwriter Norman Wexler.