In 1986 Derek Jarman discovered he was HIV positive and decided to make a garden at his cottage on the bleak coast of Dungeness. Facing an uncertain future, he nevertheless found solace in nature, growing all manner of plants. While some perished beneath wind and sea-spray others flourished, creating brilliant, unexpected beauty in the wilderness.
Modern Nature is both a diary of the garden and a meditation by Jarman on his own life: his childhood, his time as a young gay man in the 1960s, his renowned career as an artist, writer and film-maker. It is at once a lament for a lost generation, an unabashed celebration of gay sexuality, and a devotion to all that is living.
WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY NEIL BARTLETT
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 one of our most celebrated artists- painter, poet, film-maker - and the author of many books, including the bestsellers Modern Nature and At Your Own Risk.
The film scripts collected here for the first time- including Akenaten, Jubilee, Bob-Up-A-Down, B Movie: Little England/ A Time of Hope, Neutron and Sod 'Em - confirm Derek Jarman's reputataion as a leading independent film-maker.
Spanning his entire life and divided into decades from the forties to the nineties, this book brings together Jarman's poetry, prose, memoirs, photographs and film transcripts and includes newspaper extracts on aspects of gay culture. The result is a rounded portrait of homosexuality through the twentieth century seen through a fiercely personal perspective.
At Your Own Risk is angry, entertaining and humane, both a powerful argument against homophobia and a wild celebration of an individual's sexuality and freedom.
Derek Jarman's creativity spanned decades and genres - painter, theatre designer, director, film maker, writer and gardener.
From his first one-man show at the Lisson Gallery in 1969; set designs and costumes for the theatre and ballet (Jazz Calendar with Frederick Ashton at Covent Garden, Don Giovanni with John Gielgud at the London Coliseum, The Rake's Progress with Ken Russell at Teatro Communale, Florence); production design for Ken Russell's films The Devils and Savage Messiah; through his own films in super-8 before working on features: Sebastine (1976), Jubilee (1978), The Tempest (1979), The Angelic Conversation (1985), Caravaggio (1986), The Last of England (1987), War Requiem (1989), The Garden (1990), Edward II (1991), Wittgenstein (1993), and Blue (1993); to directing pop-videos and live performances for Pet Shop Boys and Suede.
His paintings - for which he was a Turner Prize nominee in 1986 - have been exhibited world-wide.
His garden surrounding the fisherman's cottage in Dungeness where he spent the last years of his life remains a site of awe and pilgrimage to fans and newcomers to Jarman's singular vision.
His publications include: Dancing Ledge (1984), Kicking the Pricks (1987), Modern Nature (1991), At Your Own Risk (1992), Chroma (1994), Derek Jarman's Garden (1995).