Tilda Swinton and Jeremy Deller sell art to save Derek Jarman’s house (VIDEO)

English artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman at Prospect Cottage in Dungeness, Kent. — Picture courtesy of Geraint Lewis
English artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman at Prospect Cottage in Dungeness, Kent. — Picture courtesy of Geraint Lewis

LOS ANGELES, Jan 24 — Some of the biggest names in the art world have launched a campaign to preserve the late English filmmaker’s iconic home and garden in Dungeness, Kent.

The public fundraising campaign is led by the Art Fund, Creative Folkestone and Tate, which set a deadline of 10 weeks to raise £3.5 million (RM18.6 million) to prevent Jarman’s cottage from being sold privately.

The initiative, supported by Tilda Swinton, Jeremy Deller and Wolfgang Tillmans, hopes to turn Prospect Cottage and its garden into a memorial dedicated to Jarman’s legacy and unique creative vision.

“Derek Jarman was an inspirational provocateur in the cultural life of Britain, and a great role model for any artist looking to cause a bit of trouble. I’m happy to now be working with other artists to give people a chance to own a work of art in return for a donation to help save this special place,” conceptual artist Jeremy Deller said in a statement.

Jarman bought Prospect Cottage in 1986, which also marked the year the English artist and filmmaker was diagnosed as HIV-positive.

Following Jarman’s death in 1994, the house and its garden were bequeathed to his longtime partner Keith Collins, whose passing in 2018 cast uncertainty over the future of Prospect Cottage.

The fundraising campaign states that the £3.5 million target would enable the preservation of the property and its world-renowned garden, as well as run residency programs for artists, writers, gardeners, filmmakers, academics and activists.

“My excitement about this vision for Prospect Cottage lies in its projected future as an open, inclusive, and encouraging machine for the inspiration and practical working lives of those who might come and share in its special qualities that, as a young artist, I was lucky enough to benefit from,” Tilda Swinton, who appeared in several of Jarman’s films, said in a statement.

While Creative Folkestone will oversee the restoration of the garden, Tate Britain will put on display the most important and vulnerable archive material from the cottage.

Among them are sketchbooks, letters, photographs and Jarman’s address book, in which each entry is illustrated with a personalised collage.

Although nearly half of the money has already been raised, several high-profile artists have created “rewards” for donations to the campaign, with prices ranging between £25 and £1,250 (about RM133 to RM6,673).

Turner Prize-winner Jeremy Deller has designed an enamel pin badge, while German photographer Wolfgang Tillmans has created a limited edition print of John Donne/Agave, Berlin Collage.

Additional information about the fundraiser to preserve Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage are available at artfund.org/prospect. — AFP-Relaxnews

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