The future of Prospect Cottage

29/02/2020

Saving Prospect Cottage is about ensuring it can inspire artists and visitors long into the future.

Just as it was a hub of artistic activity during Jarman’s lifetime, if our campaign is successful it will continue to provide space for people to think, dream, make and create.

These kinds of spaces are rare – and the one Jarman created, set against and in conversation with the dramatic landscape of the Kent coast, is truly unique.

The residency programme that we will establish in partnership with Creative Folkestone will mean that artists, academics, writers, gardeners, filmmakers and many others interested in Jarman and his work can come and engage with the space to inform their own artistic practice.

And the archive of material from the cottage, which will be looked after by Tate and made publicly available for the first time at Tate Britain, has huge, untapped potential for new research, displays and exhibitions. It includes Jarman’s notebooks, sketchbooks, letters, drawings and photographs, but also his personal SLR and Super 8 cameras and his library of books, covering subjects from Victorian art to medieval alchemy, quantum physics and occult philosophy.

So, with just under 31 days left to raise the final 27% to #SaveProspectCottage, we hear from Katie Mess, a first-year student at Slade School of Fine Art – where Jarman himself studied – what it would mean to have access to Jarman’s legacy in this way.

Prospect Cottage © Howard Sooley

‘I’ve been to the cottage and I love Dungeness; I think it’s the most eerie, weird but beautiful place. It feels almost like you’re dreaming.

‘That’s what the cottage is for me: a space that you can make your own. If it could be a place for young artists like me to go, I think that would be the most amazing opportunity, because you’d feel like you were close to Derek Jarman, you’d feel his presence.

‘It’s also such a great place to remove yourself and reflect. Seeing the sea and feeling yourself closer to nature; that really helps me in my own work to think more and do more and be more creative.

‘If I were to spend the week in Prospect Cottage, I’d go on really long walks along the coastline and really experiment. I’d get loads of Super 8 film and, whatever the weather, I’d go out filming my friends, filming the environment, the sea, everything. I’d use Derek Jarman as my guide and I’d make the best short film I could.’

Help us to ensure that future generations can benefit from the creative legacy of Derek Jarman and Prospect Cottage.

Keep spreading the word by sharing artfund.org/prospect and #SaveProspectCottage on social media.

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