It's October the 6th. That is, I haven't added to this website in a month. A month in which all sorts of things have been happening. Or maybe not. Depends how one looks at the world. I could say that in a month all that's happened is that Nigel Farage has crawled a distance of about twenty yards along a back alley in Tile Hill.

George Shaw. The Folk Revival, 2017. Enamel on canvas, 92 x 121cm

What I mean by the above statement, is that the site of the above painting is one short crawl from the site of the The National Game.

In other words,
The National Game's viewpoint was from the bottom left edge of the image below, straight across to the right edge. While in the above painting, The Folk Revival, the view is of the end two garages and beyond to the terrace of houses.


The aerial view is from 2019 and it would seem that the garage door at the end of the row has been mended since the photo that George Shaw must have taken and on which he based his painting.

Am I saying that the target painted in yellow and the white splash of paint on the sheet of rusted iron that had been hauled up in front of the garage door, giving a complex layering effect, is no longer to be seen
in situ? Yes, such beauty is fleeting, indeed all beauty is transitory. Thank goodness for the posterity-serving painting.

Let's analyse this garage front a bit more. I'd suggest that the sheet of metal has been placed in front of the garage as a defensive measure. But the target has been painted on the door above the sheet of metal, where the door has not been strengthened and protected. Of course, the target is only symbolic. Symbolic of what, though?

George Shaw. The Folk Revival, 2017. Enamel on canvas, 92 x 121cm

It may help to point out that the present painting has something in common with The Painted Wall. Not just a wall made from corrugated iron-topped garages, but the presence of housing beyond that wall.

George Shaw. The Painted Wall, 2017. Enamel on canvas 92 x 121cm

Ostensibly, in each case, the 'wall' of garages is under threat. But really it may be the housing behind that is the target. Again, I'm talking symbolically. But I don't want to move your attention away from the site under discussion. So here's a reminder of the twenty-odd yards that my idea of Nigel Farage has crawled along in the last month.

George Shaw. The National Game, 2017. Enamel on canvas, 46 x 55cm

Oh, there's an odd thing that I've only just noticed. The sheet of rusty metal was once set against the second from the end garage on the left. Presumably when that garage door was replaced, the sheet of rusty iron was used to secure/protect the door of the end garage. See how everything connects?

Anyway, back to Nigel and Boris. Boris has had a very active month, here, there and everywhere as PM. While Nigel has been crawling the few yards separating point A from point B. But they're standing side-by side-now. And this is what they look upon in the peculiar light of a Tile Hill afternoon.

George Shaw. The Folk Revival, 2017. Enamel on canvas, 92 x 121cm

Nigel: "Reminds me of that time back in May when I was hit by a milkshake while canvassing in Newcastle. Aim. Fire. Bullseye. Well, not exactly bullseye, but my pinstripe suit was in a right old state."

Boris: "That incident seems like yesterday."

"Perhaps because a month later Jo Brand made things worse by making a joke about it on Radio 4."

"Remind me."

“The bitch said:
'Why bother with a milkshake when you could get some battery acid?'."

"Ha! She was right in that it would be a lot easier to get battery acid than a milkshake around here."

"Seems like I've had the smell of it in my nostrils for the last month. But I reckon that crawling along in the oily mud here beats the month you've had."

"How would you know, Nigel?"

"I've been keeping up with events on my phone."

"Surely it lost its charge weeks ago."

"Not at all. A faithful Brexit Party member takes it to the
Black Prince every evening and recharges it. So let me take you back to the beginning of September. You spent the day in Wakefield, Yorkshire, and were interviewed in front of a backdrop of police officers."

"I was indeed."


"You were asked by a journalist from the
Sun whether you could make a promise to the British public that you wouldn’t go back to Brussels and ask for another delay to Brexit. You answered, "Yes, I can," and added that you'd rather be dead in a ditch than do so. Tell me, were you thinking of me at that moment? Me, bedding down in this hell hole?"
From the government, citing political differences between us. And that hurt, I can tell you. Indeed, my speech in Wakefield was appalling. It was one of those times when I could hardly put one word in front of another. It came as a relief when I realised that one of the police officers behind me had had to break ranks and sit down. I was able to cut my speech short."

"It didn't get better the next day did it? First, there was the Irishman who harangued you for being in Morley, Leeds, instead of in Brussels negotiating with the EU."

"And then there was the gentleman who - while shaking my hand - implored me to:
'Please leave my town'."

"What did you say to him again?"

"I just said:
'I will very soon.'"

"Best of all was a month later, yesterday, when a Sky journalist stopped an elderly woman in Uxbridge and asked her what she thought of you. I've listened to it over and over again on my twitter feed."

"What did she say?"

"Sure you can take it?"

"Of course, I can take it."

"I have to set it up with the interviewer's words first."

"Go on, then."

I'm here in Uxbridge today, Boris Johnson's constituency."

George Shaw. The Folk Revival, 2017. Detail. Plus Sky News still plus text.

"Did that hit the spot, Boris?"

"Try again."

I'm here in Uxbridge today, Boris Johnson's constituency."

George Shaw. The Folk Revival, 2017. Detail. Plus Sky News still plus text.

"Did that hit the target, Boris?"

"Bullseye, I admit. One more time, if you will."

I'm here in Tile Hill today, Boris Johnson's responsibility."

George Shaw. The Folk Revival, 2017. Enamel on canvas, 92 x 121cm

A folk revival? Let's hope so.

A folk renaissance? Why not!

In the meantime, 'The Lost of England' continues


The images of George Shaw’s works on this site are copyright the artist. The artist is represented by Anthony Wilkinson.

'The Lost of England' was an exhibition of George Shaw paintings at Maruani Mercier in autumn, 2017.