Little Selves exhibition

Little Selves is an exhibition celebrating the portrait miniature showcasing exquisite pieces from the collections at New Walk Museum Leicester alongside new work by Leicester Society of Artists members and a schools competition. The exhibition takes place 25 March – 25 June 2017.

min-eye-miniature-timms-1 Although I am no portraitist, I was intrigued by the potential it gave me to create something new. I worked, years ago, on the development of the V&A Portrait Miniatures gallery and have a fondness for tiny, personal portraits. My inspiration for this piece came from this eye miniature of Mrs. Fitzherbert, George Engleheart (1750-1829). Watercolour and gouache on ivory.

“Mrs Maria Fitzherbert was secretly married to the Prince of Wales, later George IV. He stopped all contact with her on his official marriage, but was buried with a miniature of her around his neck. The identity of the single eye was known to the owner, but to no-one else.” From The Story of Leicester.




I am fascinated by personal mementoes and memorials and by human hair and chose to create an eye miniature of my own stitched with hair. Within is drawn from my own eye and stitched with donated human hair on a scrap of Victorian cotton taken from a disintegrated patchwork quilt.


4 thoughts on “Little Selves exhibition

  1. What a small world! Way on the other side of the Atlantic we just made eye tokens last weekend as part of a mixed media class. I am familiar with the story of eye tokens but didn’t know of the story you shared. On Wednesday, I visited the Smithsonian museum (similar to your V&A museum) to see some but, unfortunately, the section was closed for renovation. I really, really like your interpretation of the eye and think you did a marvelous job with sewing an eye with human hair. Very cool. I hope you frame it and perhaps give it to a loved one.

  2. Pingback: Little Selves Exhibition at New Walk Museum, Leicester | Ruth Singer

  3. What beautiful execution of this idea. I especially love that you’ve mounted your eye on an antique textile.

Let me know what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.