Derek Jarman

Smiling in Slow Motion
  • Smiling in Slow Motion

  • WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY NEIL BARTLETT

    'The life-affirming expression of an artist engaged in living to the full' The Times

    Smiling in Slow Motion is Derek Jarman’s last journal, stretching from May 1991 until a fortnight before his death in February 1994. Jarman writes with his trademark humour and candour about friends and enemies, as he races through his final years of film-making, gardening and radical political protest.

    Written from Jarman’s Charing Cross Road flat, his famed garden at Dungeness, and finally from his bed in St Bartholomew's Hospital, Jarman meditates on his own deteriorating health and the loss of his contemporaries. Yet Smiling in Slow Motion is not simply a chronicle of illness and regret: it is, at its heart, one of endeavour, determination and pride.

Derek Jarman was born in London in 1942. His career spanned decades and genres, from painter, theatre designer, director, film-maker, to poet, writer, campaigner and gardener. His features include Sebastiane (1976), Jubilee (1978), Caravaggio (1986), The Last of England (1987), Edward II (1991) and Blue (1993). His paintings – for which he was a Turner Prize nominee in 1986 – continue to be exhibited worldwide, and his garden in Dungeness remains a site of pilgrimage to fans and newcomers alike.