Looked in on Bovey’s Devon Guild of Craftsmen this morning. The current exhibition is titled ‘Home Ground’, exploring a sense of place and identity* by showcasing the work of contemporary art/craft practitioners that use locally distinct and sourced materials to produce work which reflects and sustains their locality and its culture. Keen to develop new audiences the project focuses on football supporters, more specifically through the fans of Sheffield United, Stoke City, Crystal Palace, Luton Town, Macclesfield Town AND Walsall. The Saddlers primary material being leather, artist Melanie Tomlinson has produced a pair of gilded 1950s style footy boots – the sort of thing we played in as kids. The reason they resemble hobnail boots with steel toecaps was displayed alongside: a replica 1950s leather football made by John Hagger, a Devon-based leather worker who learnt his trade in Walsall. John sourced the pattern from a German Football Museum, fashioning the ball from the hide of a roe deer (road kill). I admired the Walsall children’s collages, particularly their wishful thinking as regards Walsall beating Chelsea 4-0.
*Brexit is about lots of things, but central to all remains the desire for a sense of place and identity.
High on Fellows Park nostalgia, tonight’s supper is a large dish of tripe. With a nod to the modern game, however, less tripe and onions in milk and more Trippa alla Fiorentina.