The Whitworth Art Gallery have acquired and are showing parts of The Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection. The term 'Outsider Art' or 'Art Brut' was introduced to me as signifying art works by lunatics and criminals but seems now to include work by any creator outside the art establishment of colleges and galleries.
This collection was made in the 1980s by Victor Musgrave and Monika Kinley who felt that much contemporary art was ‘bland and supine in the well-crafted chains of its own making.’ Outsider Art was seen as art at its purest, and most meaningful, made by individuals from their own vision for their own inner needs with fame or monetary reward not a consideration.
That might be seen as a description of all amateur art but here is generally meant for art revealing extreme mental states, unconventional ideas, or fantasy worlds. Often obsessive, using found materials and do-it-yourself methods that can lead to something we might call genuine works of art. Certainly surprising and often unsettling images.
See more, and other interesting stuff, at http://whitworthworkoftheweek.tumblr.com/