The film starts and ends in London and is told from the perspective of a female narrator who looks back over the archive of footage she has collected over the years on her repeated visits to two seasonal folk traditions in England, Haxey Hood in north Lincolnshire and May Day in Padstow. Her voice is interspersed with those of people she meets on her journeys, describing the significance of the rituals for them. Folk in Her Machine is a sensual film essay on the meaning of place and belonging in a global world, and a meditation on the nature of filmmaking. Shot on a combination of 16mm and digital cameras, the film is narrated by celebrated actor Jodhie May.
With Folk In Her Machine, Fowler continues to investigate poetic and political inter-relations between people and place, filtered through her own embodied experiences. The work draws some influences from the essay films of Patrick Keiller, yet departs through its distinctive and dynamic use of voice and camera. Rather than surveying from a distance, she draws close to the folk rituals and pulls apart through tentative narrative, intimate hand-held camerawork, and experimental film techniques. The result is a unique and compelling account of one woman’s singular experiences in the English landscape. The piece was completed as part of an AHRC funded practice-based Phd at London College of Communication.
"With Folk in Her Machine, Rosalind Fowler has crafted a distinctive take on place, ritual and belonging, as embodied in the moving image; a personal but widely resonant work that commands attention in voice and visuals and marks the arrival of a welcome and keenly alert new talent.” (Gareth Evans, film curator, Whitechapel gallery).
"Rosalind Fowler's observations on the visible and invisible are brilliant" (William Fowler, curator of artist moving image, BFI, London).
Rosalind Fowler is an artist filmmaker with a background in film, cultural geography and visual anthropology. Folk in Her Machine will premiere at PLACE cross-platform festival, Aldeburgh, February 2014 (curated by Gareth Evans), and will show at the William Morris gallery in London on 6th March as part of a late-night opening of Jeremy Deller’s touring Venice bienalle piece ‘English Magic’. Her previous film Rotunda (2007), was screened at BBC Birmingham, the Nordic Anthropological Film Festival, and 7” cinema (Birmingham).
Rua Calouste Gulbenkian, 293