Barbara King
Pictures of morris men - et al  
My desire to paint ‘folk dancers’ came upon me in 2006 when I decided to include more figures in my paintings. I have had a life long interest in folk music and plenty of opportunity to observe the vibrant and colourful spectacle of dance teams, be they Border or Cotswold Morris, Mollies or Step or any one of a number of other dance styles which abound on the folk scene today. Whether flailing handkerchiefs or scarves, brandishing sticks, swords or ladles their visual and musical performance is as varied as the costumes and baldrics which mark out each group as unique. The exuberance with which they hurl themselves into their dances is uplifting and infectious and it is doubly satisfying to realise that through their tireless enthusiasm and commitment they are preserving and prolonging (and often reviving) old and traditional customs. In my paintings I am attempting to capture the spirit and vitality they exude in their dance. My hope is that when you look at my pictures you can hear, in your mind’s ear, the crack of the sticks, the jingle of bells and the rhythmic pulse of the music played on a range of instruments by musicians as individual as the dancers themselves.
Living in Norfolk as I do I am keen to celebrate the rich core of talent in and around East Anglia and many of my paintings are of local teams such as 'The King's Morris' at King's Lynn; 'Kemp's Men' of Norwich; 'Fiddlesticks' of Marsham; 'Ely and Littleport Riot' and 'Pig Dyke Mollies' to name but a few. We are also fortunate to have a number of events where dancers en mass can be seen including the 'Massed Morris Dancing' in Thornham in September of each year and the marvellous Strawbear Festival at Whittlesey. The more involved I get the more it seems to me that folk dance today is going from strength to strength. In addition to the many sides set up in the 70’s and 80’s are new teams, some traditional some modern but all with a style and colour of their own. With such a rich and varied core of talent I feel my art and I cannot help but have an exciting and lifelong relationship with ‘Morris et al’. For more examples of my work visit the website and click on the morris/dance’ tag.
For further information please email or telephone 01485 525420 or write to me at Peddars, Docking Road, Ringstead, Norfolk PE36 5LA or visit my website at
Crook Morris Crook Morris
King's Morris King's Morris
Ely & Littleport Morris Ely & Littleport Morris
Peterborough & King's Morris Petrborough & King's Morris
Head to Head, Rutland Head to Head, Rutland
Kemp's Men Kemp's Men Morris
King's Morris Musicians King's Morris, Musicans