In 2010 The Hepworth Wakefield, Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Film and Video Umbrella were awarded the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award for Museums: commission to collect for their proposal to work with artist Luke Fowler.
The resulting work by Fowler, The Poor Stockinger, The Luddite Cropper and the Deluded Followers of Joanna Southcott, will open to the public for the first time at the Hepworth Wakefield on 23 June.
Recently shortlisted for the Turner Prize for his film All Divided Selves (2011), the final film in a trilogy based on the psychiatrist RD Laing, Fowler’s new work, made thanks to the support of the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award for Museums, takes its starting point from material drawn from specific archives held in the North of England. The film focuses on the work of the radical socialist Edward Palmer-Thompson. From 1948 to 1965 Thompson lived in Halifax and, as part of his university duties, was employed in the West Riding branch of the Workers’ Education Association (WEA).
The Poor Stockinger, The Luddite Cropper and the Deluded Followers of Joanna Southcott revisits EP Thompson’s radical work in the West Riding of Yorkshire which addressed the struggles for the underlying philosophy of the WEA that were fought over by Thompson and other ‘extra-muralists’ of that period such as Raymond Williams and Richard Hoggart. The methods and ideas of these committed and passionate educationalists were honed in working-class communities in the North and the Midlands of England in the middle of the last century.
The Hepworth Wakefield, Gallery Walk, Wakefield WF1 5AW
23 June – 14 October 2012
Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton WV1 1DU
20 October – 18 January 2013
The Contemporary Art Society Annual Award is presented to a museum each year to commission a new work that will be acquired permanently for a public collection. In 2011 the Award was presented to Nottingham Castle Museum and Art Gallery for their proposal to work with artist Christina Mackie.
The deadline for applications for The Annual Award for Museums 2012 is 22 June. For further information pleaseclick here.
The Annual Award for Museums has been made possible through the generous philanthropy of the Sfumato Foundation.
The Contemporary Art Society exists to develop public collections of contemporary art across the UK.