Jump directly to the page contents

Being in a Place - A Portrait of Margaret Tait

Filmstill from ""Bing in a Place – A Portrait of Margaret Tait" by Luke Fowler. Close up of wild plants with yellow flowers.
© Courtesy of Luke Fowler, The Estate of Margaret Tait and The Modern Institute/ Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow
  • Director

    Luke Fowler

  • United Kingdom / 2022
    61 min.

  • Original language


Margaret Tait once proposed a project to Channel 4 called HEARTLANDSCAPE, an unrealised landscape portrait of her home region of Orkney. Fowler’s portrait of the Scottish filmmaker and poet takes its bearings from the proposal, although it’s not clear just how closely his ideas cleave to hers. Titles from her project punctuate the film, and a few pages from the proposal flash up on the screen, but they’re one element among many, more jumping off point than framework. Fowler collects, connects and accumulates the nodes through which Tait’s life flowed almost in passing, his restless curiosity and mental agility creating a structure so supple and organic one barely even notices it taking form. There are Tait’s studies in Rome, the vast skies, shimmering waters and shifting shades of green of her homeland, the people she touched, the marks she made on countless pages, her own ravishing footage, her experience of making films as a woman. But there is always also a surplus, like the frost-tinged poppies in a field or the light on the altar of an abandoned church, that could be Fowler or Tait or both; it doesn’t matter. The best portraits of an artist make two sensibilities into one. (James Lattimer)

Production Luke Fowler, Sarah Neely. Production companies Luke Fowler (Glasgow, United Kingdom), Sarah Neely (Glasgow, United Kingdom). Director Luke Fowler. Screenplay Luke Fowler, Margaret Tait. Cinematography Luke Fowler, Peter Todd. Editing Luke Fowler. Music Lionel Marchetti, Lee Patterson, Donald W. Lindsay. Sound mixing Ernest Karel. Sound Lee Patterson, Luke Fowler, Sarah Neely, Louise Barrington.

Luke Fowler, born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1978. He studied printmaking and design and works as a filmmaker and musician. Much of his artistic production is devoted to sound installations. Since 2001, Luke Fowler has made numerous films, primarily documentary works shot on analogue 16mm film.

Films: 2001: What You See Is Where You’re At (24 min.). 2003: The Way Out (co-directed by Kosten Koper, 33 min.). 2006: Pilgrimage from Scattered Points (45 min.). 2008: Bogman Palmjaguar (30 min.), An Abbeyview Film (9 min.). 2009: Tenement Films (4 x 3 min.). 2011: All Divided Selves (93 min.). 2012: The Poor Stockinger, the Luddite Cropper and the deluded followers of Joanna Southcott (61 min.). 2014: To the Editor of Amateur Photographer (co-directed by Mark Fell, 68 min.), Depositions (24 min.). 2018: Mum's Cards (9 min.), Enceindre (29 min.). 2019: Cézanne (7 min.). 2020: Patrick (21 min.). 2021: For Dan (12 min.). 2022: Being in a Place – A Portrait of Margaret Tait.

Bonus Material

Director's Commentary, Essay, and Image Gallery

  • Filmstill from "Being in a Place – A Portrait of Margaret Tait" by Luke Fowler. A pile of colorful notebooks seen from above.


    Madeleine Wall on wedding of biography and hommage in Luke Fowler’s BEING IN A PLACE (A PORTRAIT OF MARGARET TAIT)

  • Filmstill from "Being in a Place – A Portrait of Margaret Tait" by Luke Fowler. Close up of old driver license with photo.

    Director's Commentary

    In “A Peripheral Gaze” Luke Fowler discusses the fugitive archive that informed BEING IN A PLACE (A PORTRAIT OF MARGARET TAIT)

  • A document with typed descriptions of the film’s intended style, and expected shots.

    Image Gallery

    Print ephemera related to Margaret Tait’s unrealized HEARTLANDSCAPE project

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur