In this final programme in the current series, Arts Tonight goes to London and to the British Folk Art Exhibition in Tate Britain.
Gods in a Bottle, Straw Men and sunbursts of Wood… all are in this fascinating exhibition of folk art, too often inserted as a minor footnote in art history.
The artwork made by untrained women and men over centuries and in every culture and society – some of it craft-based, some functional – has often been neglected or the subject of prejudice in the “official” art world.
We join curator Martin Myrone who takes us around this unique collection of British folk art, from colourful tapestries to giant wooden fixtures, giant ships’ prows, and collages. This is the first exhibition of its kind in a major art institution in Britain.
Assistant curator Ruth Kenny – yes, she’s Irish – talks about the significance of this exhibition and the Irish connection, and Guardian reviewer Jonathan Jones gives his highlights of the exhibition.
In part two, US ethnographer Henry Glassie on the enduring power and significance of what is termed “folk art” in world culture.
Here’s a link to the exhibition website: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/british-folk-art
Arts Tonight is produced by Aileen o’Meara for Digital Audio Productions for RTE.