On 1 April 2008, artist film-maker Luke Fowler was announced as the winner of the inaugural Jarman Award presented at the Serpentine Gallery.
Fowler was selected from a shortlist of four artists which included Duncan Campbell, Andrew Kötting and Emily Wardill. Over 60 artists were nominated from across the UK by the cinema, gallery, broadcast and higher education sectors, plus art commissioners, artists, curators and programmers.
The Jarman Award jury said of Fowler:
'This exceptional young talent fuses the most unusual subjects and images to stunning effect.'
Fowler's work is a rigorous and energetic testament to film's ability to transcend its own limits as both art form and document. He is a key catalyst and collaborator within Glasgow's vital scene of artists, musicians and film-makers and has produced a body of important films profiling vanguard thinkers and counterculture figures such as Cornelius Cardew and RD Laing.
Using archival footage, photographs, interviews and music he constructs impressionistic portraits of his subjects which are cinematic collages that break down and reinvigorate conventional approaches to biography. Fowler's approach offers his audiences sparkling, open and compelling moments to rethink their relationship to history and to the radical possibilities offered by film as a non-industrial, artistic practice.
As the winning artist, Fowler received £20,000, co-sponsored by Film London and More4, in partnership with the Serpentine Gallery as well as a commission of four short films from 3 Minute Wonder, Channel 4's documentary shorts strand. They will premiere on Channel 4 over four consecutive nights at 7.55pm fromMonday 20 April 2009. Entitled, Anna, Helen, David and Lester, they are a series of portraits of four diverse individuals brought together through a shared residence - a flat in a Victorian tenement in the West End of Glasgow.
To launch the inaugural year of the award Film London and More4 also invested in Derek, a major new feature length biopic directed by Isaac Julien.