There are few more complete examples of an artist’s record of their own life than the intimately detailed and beautifully produced books that Derek Jarman created throughout his career. Seen together they reveal the story of how he gathered, shaped and made concrete his ideas. Containing poetry, drawings, pressed flowers, photographs, excerpts from scripts and notes, Derek Jarman’s sketchbooks are part autobiography and part social history, bursting with the energy and creativity of this groundbreaking artist. This publication collates the best of Jarman’s sketchbooks to reveal the detailed planning and emotional engagement behind each of his films in more depth than ever before.
Contributions from people closely tied to Jarman’s work (including actress Tilda Swinton, musician Toyah Willcox, artist Andrew Logan, Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop Boys, and Jarman’s partner Keith Collins) bring to life the filmmaker’s social circle and the cultural climate of Britain in the 1970s and 80s. Excerpts from early scripts, sketches and notes in particular ensure this is destined to be an essential work.