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Archive for British Folk Art

British Folk Art

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Folk art by definition is the quintessence of the vernacular.  The dimensional soul of a native culture. It is the unpretentious product of a folk who looked to their hearts for artistic inspiration at a time when the practicalities of life got in the way of education.

It is an ethnic expression of working men and women who’s product has not been blighted by intellectuals. So it has been saved from fancy otherworldly muses which it never needed because fundamentally it is instinctive and comes from the gut not the Heavens.

The expression ‘There is nothing new under the sun’ is also true of folk art. It may only have been understood under the term folk art in the last 150 years or so, but it’s apprentices were working up a sweat centuries before that. It was emotionally conceived within reverberations of the primal-screem, its earliest manifestations emerging from a dark and impoverished time. Ironically primal-folk-art is often viewed in an incredulous or optimistic way and objects which to our highly superstitious ancestors may have had serious votive or magical properties, we now frequently see as quaint, hopeful or amusing. One may also perceive in the evolution of folk art a natural backlash, the antithesis of classism and the culture of guilds, but because of an intrinsic humility it has operated hitherto in a kind of undercurrent to the more punchy and avant-garde arts.

The spokes in the wheels of folk art are so disparate and the demography of its practioners so wide that like a bicycle with out a rider there was never a hope of any movement.  It is not only a wholehearted expression of a stratum of humanity it is also naive, disorganised, alternative, romantic and frequently annonymous and as a consquence presents itself as an enigma within the arts.

This cohesive reflection we see from these disjointed elements make it collectively the intriguing and unconventional body of work that we know and love and if British folk art is now becoming less endangered than perhaps it once was, I suspect that perhaps part of the reason is that people see it as an escape from the present to the past, away from the over-manufactured, technological and multinational world we live in. So when it’s green credentials, it’s organic roots, merge with our dreamy concept of a rustic workshop set in a rural idyll, then these criterea provoke a sentimentality that becomes an antidote to our modern times

Folk art is the embodiment the sentiments the aspirations and the musings of an underclass and we are the fortunate benefactors of an inheritance, which brings nothing but joy to us. At its most expressive and pursuasive it can be a harbinger of love, piercing our hearts with its eccentricitys, emblems and tokens, with it’s naive charm, humour, invention and honesty.

I implore you to stay in touch with this expansive heritage of ours known as folk art –  to help save your souls and invigorate your spirits don’t go a day without it.

Copyright: P.Cooper

 

 Overheard in a Museum

“Quite colloquial and nearly charming

It’s perspectives all awry”

“Peasant Higledy – pigledy seascapes

where figurheads score the sky”

Folk art is not these whispering dilettants

always seeking the sublime;

But the brightly painted drummer boy

Who beats the whirligig of time:

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Folk-Art Exhibitions

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Approaching fast is our on-line exhibition of ‘British Folk Art’ reserved for this event in fact enfolded within our treasury of goods is a naive Irish Walking Stick embellished with rural scenes which are carved upon its barrel. Also set aside is an imposing collection of Antique treen. Though currently the most difficult goods to source are antique country furniture items. In this particular genre ‘Antique oak and country furniture’  the very best quality articles are proving extremely elusive. Consequently I have hunting trips planed in Scotland and Wales for April and May where I am anticipating bagging some trophies.

Our on-line exhibition:  BRITISH FOLK ART – a celebration. Begins on the 12th June and will include folk art, antique country furniture, antique treen, naive paintings and antique pottery. All items will be of museum quality and all will be for sale.

This exhibition is scheduled to coincide with the British Folk Art exhibition of ‘ Tate Britain [London,UK] gallery in 2014’

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Football and Folk-Art

Rose Villa Shadow Box

Come June when the world goes flaming made for football, in fact on the very day the World Cup begins, we will be following in the footsteps of Tate Britain by holding an exhibition of British Folk art. Our own cache of treasures will be entitled:-

British Folk Art – a celebration:
Commencing 12th June our online exhibition will include selected folk art, antique country furniture and antique pottery. All items will be of museum quality and will have been sourced throughout the British Isles and all will be for sale.

There will be some exceptional antique treen –  some historically important antique bead-work – some curious and unusual country furniture – and some exceedingly rare English pottery:

In the meantime we will continuing updating our website with the best antique oak and country furniture we can find and replenishing our pottery gallery with the antique slipware and Sussex pottery we are so fond of.

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British Folk Art Exhibition – Tate Briton

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We wanted to bring to your attention the most exciting event (in our opinion) happening at the Tate Briton (London, UK) Gallery in 2014, the British Folk Art Exhibition.  From the 10th June to the 7th September the Tate gallery will have over 100 exhibits on display from paintings to sculptures to textiles including work from prominent individuals George Smart the tailor of Frant, eminent embroiderer Mary Linwood, ship carver and fairground artist Arthur Andersen and Cornish painter Alfred Wallis.

To quote the Tate Briton site – “Folk Art is an established subject in many countries; however in Britain the genre remains elusive. Rarely considered in the context of art history, ‘Folk art’ has been viewed as part of social history or folklore studies. This show unites an extraordinary selection of objects, exploring the threshold between art and artefact and challenging perceptions of ’high art’.”

We’re looking forward to June when we will be attending! Make sure you save the date and book your tickets when they become available.

In the mean time have a look at some of our English Folk Art here.

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