09 March 2016


Naïve and primitive art have been enjoying a renaissance in interest and a rapidly rising profile over recent years.

Critics, curators and collectors variously claim this is due to its fundamental unpretentious integrity, that its bold graphics and limited palette have been a source of inspiration to some twentieth century artists and that its raw untutored style is a refreshing escape from contemporary concepts and ideologies.

Personally, I think it is because it is simply human, it is art that people can feel and relate to. It makes them smile.

Much of the subject matter is not carefully observed, but is painted or executed from an understanding or familiarity, or even as Alfred Wallis said, “painted from memry”.

In our Annual Exhibition, we aim to celebrate what is now popularly known as Folk Art and gather together works by little known unrecorded “artists”, alongside completely anonymous works, in a variety of media.

We source and select them visually, looking for that individual quality that somehow defines them as special, the very quality that has helped them survive through several, even multiple generations.

The execution, materials and techniques are varied, yet there is often the feeling that the artists had a relationship with their subjects.

Like unself-conscious children making images of their homes, parents, siblings and pets, they use assumed information of scale and relationship. They ignore studied observation, viewpoints and perspective to show what they want to be seen, they exaggerate and imagine.

So we see homes, children, agricultural animals and pets, food, landscapes, pubs, churches, trophies of hunting and fishing. Images of subjects the artists knew and cherished, which they could enhance and escape to.

Escape is such an important element of art, as it excites imagination and makes memories, it is not tangible, it’s a feeling, sometimes even a fantasy.

Escape is about getting away from the ordinary every day experience of living and it is no coincidence that horses, carriages, mules, carts, boats, ships and later locomotives were such popular subjects, like art itself they offered a sense of freedom and a means of escape, over land or sea.

Annual Exhibition of Antique Folk Art 5-14th May 2016





Gallery Tour