The life and work of author, artist, filmmaker, and gardener Derek Jarman has been commemorated by English Heritage with a blue plaque being outside the Butler’s Wharf studio he resided in until his death from an AIDS-related illness in 1994.
The Blue director – arguably as well known for his tireless gay rights activism as he was for his contributions to the British avant-garde in the latter part of the 20th Century – passed away 25 years ago today.
David Olusoga, the historian and broadcaster who also sits on the English Heritage Blue Plaques panel, praised the “creative and disruptive energy” which Jarman applied to all his endeavours.
Nudged just to the right of Tower Bridge, the Butler’s Wharf studio played host to all sorts of artistic experiments, and was the production base for Jubilee, his difficult and disruptive 1978 punk classic.
If you can’t quite make it to Prospect Cottage, the Dungeness seaside site where Jarman spent much of his final years tending to the sublime and slightly austere garden, to mark the passing of one of the great figures of the recent past, we recommend taking a stroll down to the newly-installed plaque with a copy of one of his superb, insightful, and searing volumes of diary writing (Smiling in Slow Motion, or Modern Nature, to name but two) in your pocket.
And if that isn’t an option either, sit back and enjoy this incredibly honest, wonderfully open interview conducted by Jeremy Isaacs for the BBC just months before Jarman’s death.