White Lace Christening Mittens2023
My drawing ‘White Lace Christening Mittens’ pays tribute to the exquisite beauty of these baby’s mittens which were made by hand nearly 300 years ago. This drawing was originally exhibited in the 11th Century St Mary de Haura Church, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex where the potency of its religious symbolism was made clear. Created by hand in 1728 when the value of lace of this quality would have put them out of reach for most ordinary people, these christening mittens were an expression of religious devotion to be handed down the generations.
The act of drawing in my work is a way of exploring, researching and familiarising myself with an object and the forensic examination encompassed by this drawing in particular conveys the extraordinary historical journey of this tiny garment. It is with immense gratitude that I explore the archives of our museum collections whenever planning a new piece of work. Donated to Hastings Museum, East Sussex in 1840 by the family of the original owners of the mittens, could they have survived for 300 years in this pristine condition without the guardianship of such an institution?