Folk art is the art of the people, created for utilitarian and decorative purposes, as opposed to fine art which is created for aesthetic purpose, or to make a philosophical, political or timely statement.

The approach is naive and often highly coloured, undeterred by fashion and it’s done for fun and enjoyment. To lift the spirits. The narrative represented in folk art is usually particular to its type, distinctive in form and colour.

Most textile design  –   painting, dying, embroidery and manipulation – has its roots in folk art,  in that the design and workmanship developed within and are crated by communities. Quilting, patchwork, appliqué, jamdani, batik, tie dying, even hand block printing are folk arts.

Painted works include most country painting, colours, techniques and designs that we can easily recognise and relate to a time of place, that we associate with particular tribal or cultural groups – including barge painting, naive art, barn stars, Amish, Shaker and the styles of paintwork that decorate furniture – such as Norwegian, Swedish, Bretagne, Provencal, Hungarian…. ad infinitum….every area within every country has it’s own, some are better known than others.

See also folk weave, local distinctiveness, tribal art, hut painting, lime painting, hearts

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