Since we launched the campaign to #SaveProspectCottage in January, thousands of donors have rallied to the cause and we have now reached 91% of our final target.
The scale of support so far is testament to how Derek Jarman, his life and work have touched the lives of so many, and we’re thrilled that so many share our determination to protect Prospect Cottage for future generations.
Along the way, lots of you have been sharing your reflections, stories and memories of both Jarman and the cottage, so we wanted to share some of those as we approach the final stages of the campaign.
‘I wrote Derek a letter complimenting him on his book Modern Nature which I had just read. I wrote to him of my childhood growing up at Dungeness, of Char Richardson who first owned Prospect Cottage. I was then the lighthouse keeper at Portland Bill; a place I came to learn Derek held in enormous affection… Derek sent me a letter simply addressed to Paul, Lighthouse, Portland, the envelope written in his beautiful black ink handwriting. He invited me to visit him and enjoy a “cuppa” at Prospect Cottage. What developed was a wonderfully joyful friendship that lasted until his death… My memory of Derek is of a magical, warm and encouraging person, the angry activist and the gentle warm natured gardener. I truly believe he would be delighted for the plans for his beloved Prospect Cottage and would give this project his full blessing.’ - The Ness Man, commenting on an article in the Guardian by Luke Turner
‘I rarely send letters to my heroes but felt moved to write to Derek Jarman after reading Modern Nature. I didn't expect a reply but he sent me a lovely postcard of one of his paintings with a friendly message in his beautiful handwriting thanking me for my appreciation with news of an upcoming 'sainting' at Dungeness. It’s one of my most prized possessions.’ - OneEyedKat
‘I first visited this place when I was about 10 years old, with my Dad and his good friends (both artists) to make a film of the Sound Mirrors nearby. We then went to this strange house, with its beautiful and bizarre garden. It has stuck in my mind ever since, I have subsequently become an artist, and think the strange assembly of coveted objects that form the garden broadened my understanding of what art or sculpture might be.’ - RyanOrme
‘I remember visiting the cottage a long time ago, very early 1990s and the garden was beautiful. It fitted into the unusual landscape beautifully and was full of a real mix of all the common and uncommon garden plants you could imagine. Jarman died too young and it is important that his legacy is never forgotten, and the preservation of the cottage plus its development into a place for new artists too is a wonderful way of ensuring this does not happen.’ - DJT1Million
‘We visited Dungeness to see Prospect Cottage a couple of years ago as Derek Jarman is a cousin of mine (our great grandfathers were brothers so fairly distant). Unfortunately I had never met Derek and was interested to see the cottage and learn more about his life and his garden. When we visited in 2018, it seemed that the preservation of the cottage would be an important thing to do. Coming from New Zealand I was fascinated that he had gorse in the garden – an unwanted weed in NZ – but it is in a topiary style in the garden and looked great – such imagination.’ - David, Darfield, commenting on the Art Fund website
‘Discovering Modern Nature when I started art college in ‘92, I was always slightly obsessed with Prospect Cottage whenever I read about it. Anyway, last year made the trip down to visit and I can't quite explain the sense of nostalgia I felt. It was all so familiar and I really hope it can be saved for future generations to be able to spend time in it... GOOD LUCK!’ - Ian, Edinburgh
There are now just six days left to meet our target, and still £303,843 to raise. Please continue to spread the word about the campaign to #SaveProspectCottage. Every donation will be crucial.
Help us to secure the future of this remarkable place, and ensure it can inspire creativity – and many new memories – for generations to come.