A few years ago, King’s College London, at which Derek Jarman was a student in humanities, held an exhibition focused on his links and love of the River Thames which flows past the College’s Strand Campus.
British film-maker, artist and gay activist Derek Jarman, famous for films such as Caravaggio Edward II and Wittgenstein, lived in a 19th century fisherman’s cottage, Prospect Cottage, on Dungeness Beach which was a centre of creativity for himself and other collaborating artists and around which he created a unique landscape to contrast with the harsh environment around it, perhaps a symbol of his life.
When Jarman died in 1994, he left the Cottage to his friend and companion Keith Collins who himself died in 2018 and the house is now planned for sale on March 31st. A consortium of the Tate, Creative Folkestone and The Art Fund is seeking to buy and save the house for future generations, with the support of artists such as Tilda Swindon. Where, one wonders, is the National Trust in all of this. Has it lost its innovating urgency that once drove it forward, or is a cottage in Dungeness not important enough?
As part of the fundraising, Phillips this week have an on-line auction of Sandy Powell’s suit signed by hundreds of film stars including Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt, Al Pacino, Scarlett Johansson and Renee Zellweger.
Let’s hope the consortium achieve success….. We need to remember and celebrate British cultural heroes from recent history, such as Derek Jerman