I want to begin with a series of photographs showing that there is nothing new about non-representational art. Humankind has always taken a perfectly natural pleasure in organising shapes and colours for their own sake.

This is an example of nineteenth century Welsh non-representational art from the great collection of quilts put together by Jenny Jones, many of which can be seen in her house in Llanbydder near Lampeter and in the Welsh Quilt Museum in Lampeter.

Two more examples.

And here are two examples of 'shoowa cut-pile embroidery' from the Congo:

And, also from the Congo, three Kuba appliquéd and embroidered skirts:

My third example of popular abstract art - and of course examples could be multiplied indefinitely, for the most part putting our own 'modern' abstract art to shame - comes from Tihuanacu in Bolivia: