Luke Fowler


September 14, 2012

Luke Fowler’s latest film at The Hepworth Wakefield looks at education, politics and the life of post-war educationalist and cultural critic, E.P. Thompson.

His exhibition gives visitors a chance to assess his work before he joins Spartacus Chetwynd, Paul Noble and Elizabeth Price at this year’s Turner Prize exhibition at Tate Britain next month. If he is successful, Luke Fowler will be the fourth artist in a row from Glasgow to win.

This year’s Turner Prize judges include Andrew Hunt of the Focal Point Gallery in Southend-on-Sea, Heike Munder from the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich, and Michael Stanley of Modern Art Oxford. They will announce the winning artist at Tate Britain in London on 3 December.

Born in 1978 in Glasgow, Luke Fowler creates cinematic collages. The new work he is showing at The Hepworth Wakefield, The Poor Stockinger, the Luddite Cropper and the Deluded Followers of Joanna Southcott focuses on the work of the Marxist historian Edward Palmer Thompson, who, from 1946, was employed by the Workers’ Education Association (WEA) to teach literature and social history to adults in the industrial towns of the West Riding. These classes provided education to people who had been historically unable to access a university education.

Like E.P. Thompson, many progressive educationalists wanted to use their teaching to create ‘revolutionaries’ and pursue the original WEA values of delivering a ‘socially purposeful’ education. The film captures a moment of optimism, in which E.P. Thompson’s radical ideas came together with those of the West Riding and its existing tradition of political resistance and activism.

Fowler’s new commission is the result The Hepworth Wakefield and Wolverhampton Art Gallery jointly winning the Contemporary Art Society‘s Commission to Collect award. It will be the first moving image work to be acquired by the Wakefield permanent art collection, which is held by The Hepworth Wakefield.

 Luke Fowler’s new work can be seen at The Hepworth Wakefield, until 14 October. It is on alongside Artist Rooms: Richard Long. Open Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm, admission is free