The Tate (both Britain and Modern) is one of my favourite places. I spend a lot of time there. But for some reason it rarely gets a mention here - maybe precisely because I am there so frequently. I decided yesterday that this needs to change....
Heart Pincushion | Artist Unknown Heart pincushion Beamish, The Living Museum of the North Photo: Tate Photography
I paid a visit to British Folk Art at Tate Britain and it was simply wonderful. The exhibition is a showcase for a wide range of objects which are considered to be 'folk art' and are rarely seen in such a setting (although there was a lovely little corner group of Alfred Wallis paintings - which of course can frequently be seen in top galleries). It's actually the first exhibition of British folk art in a national art museum, which I found quite surprising.
The selection of textiles on show was very good, and included several beautiful pincushions such as the one shown above. Lots of quilting too which has really got me in the mood for my next attempt at English paper piecing (watch this space!).
One of my favourite things wasn't a textile piece though, it was this amazing bone cockerel (which you may recognise if you've seen the exhibition posters). It was drawing quite a crowd (on a Thursday morning!).
Bone Cockerel (detail) | Artist Unknown Bone cockerel (detail) Vivacity Culture and Leisure – Peterborough Museum
There's a varied selection of pieces on display and, I'd say, something for everyone. It felt like quite a small exhibition but that might partly have been because I enjoyed it so much (and wanted it to go on forever).
Patchwork Bedcover made by James Williams, Wrexham 1842-52 | St Fagans: National History Museum
George Smart, Goose Woman c 1840 | Image courtesy of Tunbridge Wels Museum and Art Gallery
I think I may have to pay another visit before the exhibition finishes (and take my sketchbook as there are drawing opportunities a plenty!).
British Folk Art is at Tate Britain and runs until 31 August 2014.