Help save Jarman’s Prospect Cottage in Dungeness

PUBLISHED: 13:18 25 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:18 25 February 2020

Derek Jarman's iconic Prospect Cottage, photo: Manu Palomeque

Derek Jarman's iconic Prospect Cottage, photo: Manu Palomeque

Archant

A tiny cottage in Dungeness is set to be sold off into private hands – unless £3.5 million can be found to save it

A tiny cottage in Dungeness is set to be sold off into private hands - unless £3.5 million can be found to save it.

This modest fisherman's cottage (above), bought by the late Derek Jarman in 1986 shortly after his HIV diagnosis, quickly became a source of artistic inspiration for the filmmaker, stage designer, diarist, artist, gardener, activist, author, and one of the most influential figures in 20th-century British culture. The garden he built and lived in became a refuge for calm and creation in the face of his uncertain future.

Now a fundraising campaign, backed by Hollywood actor Tilda Swinton, who worked with Jarman many times - including his 1986 film Caravaggio - is seeking to raise millions to save Prospect Cottage for the nation.

Derek Jarman died in 1994, aged 52, from Aids-related complications, but Prospect Cottage continued to be a site of pilgrimage for people from all over the world who come to be inspired by its stark beauty and by Jarman's legacy.

A dynamic partnership has now been forged between Art Fund, Creative Folkestone and Tate to help buy Prospect Cottage. This will enable continued free public access to the cottage's celebrated garden, the launch of an artist residency programme, and a programme of guided visits within the cottage itself.

Major grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Art Fund, the Linbury Trust as well as private donations have already taken the campaign halfway towards its target. Art Fund is now calling on the public to make donations of all sizes to raise the funds still needed. Find out more at: www.artfund.org/get-involved/art-happens/prospect-cottage.

Creative Folkestone will become custodians of Prospect Cottage, overseeing its long-term care and running a residency programme for artists, academics, writers, gardeners, filmmakers and others interested in Jarman and his work.

The garden will be sensitively restored and for the first time, members of the public will also be able to see inside through a programme of guided visits. Jarman's important archive from the cottage, including his sketchbooks and plans for the garden, will be made available for public access at Tate Britain.

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