Mouth London: British Folk Art, The Tate

As you walk into the exhibition at the Tate Britain you are greeted with a disclaimer on the wall stating that folk art is an ‘elusive, contradictory and contested term.’ I’ve been fascinated recently in how tradition is passed down through the generations. I read a book last year by Alastair Moffat where he talked about experiments done on birds who were taken away from their mothers and bred apart from them. They made these particular nests shaped like socks and were not given the materials to build them. Generations later the birds cage was filled with the necessary bits of moss and twigs to build these nests, and sure enough the birds built the nests as if they’d known how to do it all t