Folk In Her Machine

(2013, 47′, 16mm and digital with sound artist Andrej Bako)

The film starts and ends in London and is told from the perspective of a fictional 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, and narrated by actor Jodhie May.

Supported by Arts and Humanities Research Council

“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.)

“The film serves as stage to an endless cavalcade of folk traditions, exploring both experience and imagination of this intangible heritage through the eyes of a young woman, known only by voice (or is it thinking out loud?) and her varying footwear as time moves on. The film is deliciously sculptural, densely layered with meaning and textures; a place of belonging and the exotic, where time is marked by collective - and also extremely singular - experiences of these once-a-year events (a heady combination bringing together space/place, time and memory, with both the sonic and visual imagination." (Helen Frosi, Soundfjord gallery.)

Selected screenings

William Morris gallery Programmed as part of a late night opening event of Jeremy Deller’s Venice bienalle piece ‘English Magic.'

PLACE: Common Grounds, Snape Maltings, curated by Gareth Evans (Whitechapel gallery)

Alchemy Film Festival

Fundacao Manuel Antonio da Mota, Porto, Portugal

New Community Spaces: Collaboration and Creativity in the Landscape, Hooke Park

Café Oto screening with William Raban’s Time and the Wave (2013)

Soundfjord gallery


‘Tradition’ group show, Pumphouse gallery

Plymouth Arts Centre

Milton Keynes gallery