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Derek Jarman

A Portrait

The first retrospective of the life and work of artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman, following his death in 1994

The exhibition considered Jarman’s diverse career as a film-maker, painter, writer, designer, gardener and figure in gay politics. 

Jarman, who laboured constantly with small budgets and limited resources, was one of the few British directors whose work united the diverse art forms of painting, music, theatre, dance and design within the umbrella of film. 

Jarman’s painting, stage designs and drawings were displayed alongside examples of his Super 8 films.

Tagged with: Art Gallery Archive

Film Screenings

Barbican Cinema also screened a season of Jarman’s films to accompany the exhibition: 

Jubilee, 1978
Jarman’s eulogy to the energy and radicalism of punk rock. Unrepentantly subversive, with music by Brian Eno.

War Requiem, 1988
Jarman’s tribute to Benjamin Britten’s anti-war composition combined with poems by Wilfred Owen. 

The Garden, 1990
A reflection upon gay life and love through an exploration of biblical gardens (Eden, Gethsemane), set amidst Jarman’s own garden in Dungeness.

Caravaggio, 1986
A tapestry of beautiful painterly sets surrounds Jarman’s loving portrayal of the life of seventeenth century Italian painter. With Nigel Terry and Tilda Swinton.

Sebastiane, 1976
Jarman’s directorial debut was a low budget interpretation of the life of the martyred Saint Sebastian.

The Last of England, 1987
Jarman’s most personal, uncompromising film uses a mixture of home movies and Super-8 to produce his reflections on the disintegrating world.

The Tempest, 1979
A dreamlike production of Shakespeare’s play, with Toyah Willcox as Miranda and Heathcote Williams as Prospero.

The Angelic Conversation, 1985
Judi Dench reads twelve Shakespeare sonnets against a series of elemental backgrounds (earth, rain, fire) and poetic imagery.

Glitterbug, 1993
In the latter half of 1993 Jarman edited some fifteen hours of his Super-8 home movies to produce this moving chronicle of his life and firneds. Plus There We Are John, 1993.

Blue, 1993
Set against a continuous blue screen, Jarman conceived, wrote, and directed this compelling mediation on the nature of AIDS and his relationship to the disease.

Edward II, 1991
Stephen Waddington starred as the King who devotes himself to a life of pleasure, only to struggle against his nobles, churchmen and Queen.

Wittgenstein, 1993
A vibrant exploration of one of the twentieth century’s most influential philosophers.