Luke Fowler is an artist who works with film, sound, installation and photography. He explores the limits of documentary filmmaking, producing densely layered portraits of marginal or countercultural figures. Assembled from new and archival film footage, interviews and photography, these cinematic collages reveal conflicting accounts and retell history.
This new film, showing at Plymouth Arts Centre, focuses on the work of Marxist historian Edward Palmer Thompson who, at the age of 25, was employed by the WEA (Workers' Educational Association) in Yorkshire. He taught literature and history to adults who, historically, had been unable to access higher education, including miners, factory workers and the unemployed. E.P Thompson and his peers, Raymond Williams and Richard Hoggart, were committed to the WEA values of delivering a 'socially purposeful' education and to the cause of adult education as an engine for cultural democracy.
Luke Fowler's film explores the issues that were at stake for post war progressive educationalists and exposes an historical struggle that resonates within education today.
The film's title The Poor Stockinger, the Luddite Cropper and the Deluded Followers of Joanna Southcott is a quotation from E.P Thompson's book, The Making of the English Working Class.
The film was commissioned by The Hepworth Wakefield, Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Film and Video Umbrella, through the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award: Commission to Collect.
Luke Fowler received the inaugural Derek Jarman Award for artist filmmakers in 2008, and was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2012.