I met Offsprog One on Friday afternoon at Tate Britain so we could see the Folk Art exhibition.
From the second we stepped into the galleries, we were entranced. There were woolwork ship embroideries made by sailors with different and fascinating ways of rendering the sea and the sky( look here, David Hockney!) that surrounded and threatened their spindly little ships, flags fluttering from their rigging. There were gigantic boots with narrow ankles- one advertising Timpson's, a company still fixing broken shoes to this day. There were two embroidered boxing matches, a chicken made of bone by a French prisoner, a violin made of bone... and a room full of ship's figureheads, nothing short of splendid.
An odd man had painted lots of versions of a goose woman in a red coat, obviously working to a template but with every one different. Scraps of fabric adorned paintings; the artefacts ranged from the doodlings of the bored, sometimes in three dimensions, to articles of religious or commercial significance. There were photographs too- I particularly liked the fairground mounts, carved wooden rides, some with the heads of chickens and some, centaur-like, with the heads of Otto von Bismarck (or his doppelganger).
It is so brilliant that even though it's expensive to get in, I'm going back for second helpings as soon as I can.
I know they were going to play again outside later but I wanted a walk so I left them as they headed to the bar, and I walked up to Camden thinking about folk art, folk music, and the joys of doing things for the hell of it.