Derek Jarman’s Modern Nature draws on Derek Jarman’s extraordinary legacy as a radical artist, filmmaker, writer, gardener and activist.
The exhibition specifically focuses on Jarman's lifelong passion for plants, the human body, the landscape and the greater environment, as evidenced in the living artwork that is Prospect Cottage and its shingle garden in Dungeness, Kent.
Expanding on Jarman’s time-travelling aesthetic, the exhibition will include rarely seen examples of his earliest landscape paintings, from the 1960s up to his vibrant late paintings of Dungeness from the 1990s. These will be presented in correspondence with works by Neo-Romantic artists such as John Minton, John Piper, Graham Sutherland, and Keith Vaughan, surrealists including Eileen Agar and John Banting, and Renaissance artists such as Dürer, all seeking to explore the depth of Jarman’s influences and intuitions.
Illuminating Jarman’s working practice and echoing the vivid narrative, his journals will be on display including unseen photographs of Dungeness and Jarman by his friend Howard Sooley, alongside an intimate portrait of Jarman by the British artist Maggi Hambling.
Jarman’s feature film The Garden (1990) is reunited for the first time in public with production polaroids by the film’s producer James Mackay, while Jarman’s elusive and elemental Super 8mm films, including Journey to Avebury (1971) and Corfe Film (1975), along with his found assemblages, enter into dialogue with new artworks by a younger generation of artists inspired by Jarman’s legacy.