Spanning 1989-90, Modern Nature is the first volume of Derek Jarman’s collected journals and remains an incredibly powerful account of the celebrated filmmaker’s life as he looks back across his childhood, education and career from the windswept garden of Prospect Cottage, Dungeness. As well as richly illuminating his personal life and work, and also serving as an intricate botanical diary, the book ultimately comes to represent a complex reckoning with national identity. From the age of post-war imperial decline in which he grew up to the hostile social climate created by Thatcher’s government at the height of the AIDS crisis and the slow microcosmic drama of his desert-garden, Jarman ultimately delivers a queer confrontation with the poetry and tragedy of the English landscape.
Read this meditative and inspiring diary of Derek Jarman’s famous garden at Dungeness, which is also a powerful account of his life as an HIV positive man in the 1980s.
In 1986 Derek Jarman discovered he was HIV positive and decided to make a garden at his cottage on the barren coast of Dungeness.
Facing an uncertain future, he nevertheless found solace in nature, growing all manner of plants. While some perished beneath wind and sea-spray others flourished, creating brilliant, unexpected beauty in the wilderness.
Modern Nature is both a diary of the garden and a meditation by Jarman on his own life: his childhood, his time as a young gay man in the 1960s, his renowned career as an artist, writer and film-maker. It is at once a lament for a lost generation, an unabashed celebration of gay sexuality, and a devotion to all that is living.
‘An essential – urgent – book for the 21st Century’ Hans Ulrich Obrist
This new edition features an introduction from Olivia Laing, the author of Crudo
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