An eco-friendly Egg postcard can now be found in the Easter section of my shop. Of course, it doesn’t have to be used for Easter.
It is a unique, one-off piece. It is the original, not a print.
As always, it is sewn from stuff I rescued from the bin, used food packaging, a well-used London map (Geographer’s No.1 Road Map Of London, c1955), and my family’s old clothes.
It was made a couple of years ago, but I didn’t list it as I wanted to give the correct map credits. In those days, I did not keep such detailed records of the materials I used, and it has taken me a while to locate my notes.
I was drawn to the ‘Mental Hospital’ near Dartford Heath. Sounds awful to modern ears. After a little research I discovered that it was London’s seventh asylum, Bexley Hospital, built in 1898. It had its own farm, market garden, chapel and operating theatre. In 1915, there were 2,544 patients.
The grounds now contain a large housing development, The chapel is now a gym.
This is Mrs Harriet Thornton, a certified mental case. She was released in 1956, after a shake-up of Britain’s chaotic Lunacy Laws. It is not a spoof.
To the north of this, you can clearly see Ford Motor Car Works, by the Thames in Dagenham. In 1953 it employed 40,000 workers. In 1968, a strike, against sex discrimination, brought production to a standstill. In 1970 the Equal Pay Act was introduced.
All of my work is individually numbered, this piece is 726.