Folk Art – Tradition meets Modernity in the 21st Century

A couple of years ago there was a European theatre emporium held in Slovenia with its emphasis on tradition and modernity in the arts. It got me thinking about a lot of things! Firstly: Happiness. I’ve always believed that our happiness is somebody else’s freedom and vice versa. This thing we call art is integral to our well-being on many levels. Secondly: Culture. Now that is a huge subject to digest in one wee blog. Thirdly: Spirituality. Another large slab of cake to chomp on. And of course, let’s not forget education.

I do not like discord, disturbance, division. Nor do I like inequality. There is a distinct air of inequality that exists in the ‘arts’ today that has been fuelled by snobbery and individualism. Now, maybe this has been a necessary phase in the evolution of this thing we call the arts, but we have surely come to a point where we must decide what should receive state-funding, and how we bring equality in to the equation.

The ‘arts world’ doesn’t like the term ‘equality’. I shan’t share my thoughts any further on this, but I’m sure you know what I’m saying. Okay, I will say something. Excellence. The arts world likes excellence. Is this the point at which the arts and people separate? No, not really. It’s very unwise to assume that people outwith the arts world don’t understand excellence. because of course then there wouldn’t be an audience.

I would like to see acceptance alongside equality and excellence. I think they can all co-exist. Then perhaps funding would be shared in a more equal manner. By that I mean ensuring that cultural organisations and artists across the spectrum are allowed to apply for funding, and in turn also ensuring that participants and audiences are based on equality and inclusion.

But is there another way? An alternative universe? Yes of course there is, and always has been out with the arts world that exists now. Movements of folk art have been in existence for quite a while, even with the likes of Vasari promoting artists some centuries ago, folk art has existed. The move from craftsmanship to artist began the road to individualism, with some attempts along the way to subvert it. Are we at that stage again? And has the state come to realise that something different has to come about. Writers have noticed this.

Interesting times. Will tradition meet modernity. I hope so.

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