Diaries by one of the most original voices in European film, an artist and an icon of his time.
Every year, hundreds of visitors come to Dungeness to see Derek Jarman’s garden—a strange and windy place by the modest Prospect Cottage, where the filmmaker spent the last years of his life. In his diaries Jarman discusses the plants he grew on the pebbly land and the role of his occupation—and creativity in general—in overcoming life’s crises.
In 1986 Jarman, diagnosed with HIV, decided to grow a garden by his house on the coast of Kent. In the face of a very uncertain future, he found solace in nature and gardening, which was his childhood hobby. Not all of the plants he put into the soil survived in the barren land of Dungeness, but the garden did become a unique work of contemporary art (or modern nature). Modern Nature is both a diary of a gardener and Jarman’s reflections on his life: his childhood, his 1960s’ youth, and his creative work, which brought him acclaim as a filmmaker, writer, and artist. Jarman also discusses the nature of art and politics, illness and death, and sings an ode to nature and all living things.