Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Folk Art (and more) at Tate Britain - Life on the streets

Just part of 'Dock'.
At the centre of Tate Britain there's an interesting 'space' it's currently been handed over to a work by Phyllida Barlow called Dock in recognition of the history of the  area of the Thames that Tate Britain is located on.

I had gone along to Tate Britain to look at their exhibition dedicated to 'Folk Art' but it was difficult to avoid engaging in what was a pretty dramatic offering - I don't know if it's good or bad but definitely hard to ignore.

Well onto Folk Art (running until the end of the month at Tate Britian)- for me this had a connection to a long history of creativity  outside the rarefied (and bourgeois) art establishment but this in itself is problematic with some patronisation of the 'lower orders' creeping in.

Much of what was on show was old commercial signage or items redeployed and given new life from  boat yards.

But amongst the knitting and faux naive seascapes were some gems such as the work of Walter Greaves, Hammersmith Bridge on Boat-race Day and the Whistler influenced Nocturne in Blue and Gold.

I was also delighted by the short film 'The house that Jack built' showing another example of the British eccentric in his own habitat.

Other pleasures of the Tate visit included:

Samuel Scott's 1750-ish  An Arch of Westminster Bridge.
 Eton college  by Canaletto (still recognisable and hard to better) and
The strangely arch glory of Clive Branson's Bombed Women and Searchlights

Also the Pre-Raphaelite section was looking particularly luminous ...

Life on London Streets

There's always stuff to see on the streets and this runs the gamut from amusing to tragic- first some guys manoeuvring a  temporary toilet into position and then  people who have little hope of such a luxury in the short term.
Drop the toilet

Sad to see what I thought had become a rarity near Tate Britain yesterday and all too easy to pass by with out thinking.

Let's face it life for some in the UK's capital is not great but it's still  shocking for me to see people who have no proper home living out on the streets in a particularly wealthy part of Town.

It's not helpful to see them as causing their own problem or lumping them together into an amorphous underclass, undoubtedly there are a series of events and issues that have led them to this place and situation but they are  not 'the same' as others in a similar plight or beyond help.

People and Their belongings -No home and hope running out?

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