|Born|| 31 January 1942 |
|Died||19 February 1994 52) (aged|
St Bartholomew's Hospital, London, England
|Resting place||St Clement Churchyard, Old Romney, Kent|
|Education||Canford School, Dorset|
|Alma mater|| King's College London |
Slade School of Fine Art (UCL)
|Occupation(s)||Film director, gay rights activist, gardener, set designer|
|Notable work|| Sebastiane (1976) |
The Tempest (1979)
The Last of England (1988)
War Requiem (1989)
Edward II (1991)
|Style||New Queer Cinema |
|Partner(s)||Philip Macdonald |
(1987–1994; his death) 
Michael Derek Elworthy Jarman  (31 January 1942 – 19 February 1994) was an English artist, film maker, costume designer, stage designer, writer, gardener and gay rights activist.
Jarman was born at the Royal Victoria Nursing Home in Northwood, Middlesex, England,  the son of Elizabeth Evelyn (née Puttock)  and Lancelot Elworthy Jarman.   His father was a Royal Air Force officer, born in New Zealand.
After a prep school education at Hordle House School, Jarman went on to board at Canford School in Dorset and from 1960 studied at King's College London. This was followed by four years at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London (UCL), starting in 1963. He had a studio at Butler's Wharf, London, in the 1970s. Jarman was outspoken about homosexuality, his public fight for gay rights, and his personal struggle with AIDS.
On 22 December 1986, Jarman was diagnosed as HIV positive and discussed his condition in public. His illness prompted him to move to Prospect Cottage, Dungeness, in Kent, near the nuclear power station. In 1994, he died of an AIDS-related illness in London,  aged 52. He was an atheist.  He is buried in the graveyard at St Clement's Church, Old Romney, Kent.
In his last years, Jarman was emotionally and practically supported by the companionship of Keith Collins, a young man he had met in 1987. While not lovers (Collins had his own partner), the friendship became essential for both of them. Jarman left Prospect Cottage to him. 
A blue plaque commemorating Jarman was unveiled at Butler's Wharf in London on 19 February 2019, the 25th anniversary of his death. 
Jarman's first films were experimental Super 8mm shorts, a form he never entirely abandoned, and later developed further in his films Imagining October (1984), The Angelic Conversation (1985), The Last of England (1987) and The Garden (1990) as a parallel to his narrative work. The Garden was entered into the 17th Moscow International Film Festival.  The Angelic Conversation featured Toby Mott and other members of the Grey Organisation, a radical artist collective. 
Jarman first became known as a stage designer. His break in the film industry came as production designer for Ken Russell's The Devils (1971).  He made his mainstream narrative filmmaking debut with Sebastiane (1976), about the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. This was one of the first British films to feature positive images of gay sexuality;  its dialogue was entirely in Latin.
He followed this with Jubilee (shot 1977, released 1978), in which Queen Elizabeth I of England is seen to be transported forward in time to a desolate and brutal wasteland ruled by her twentieth-century namesake.  Jubilee has been described as "Britain's only decent punk film",  and featured punk groups and figures such as Jayne County of Wayne County & the Electric Chairs, Jordan, Toyah Willcox, Adam and the Ants and The Slits.
This was followed in 1979 by an adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest . 
During the 1980s, Jarman was a leading campaigner against Clause 28, which sought to ban the "promotion" of homosexuality in schools. He also worked to raise awareness of AIDS. His artistic practice in the early 1980s reflected these commitments, especially in The Angelic Conversation (1985), a film in which the imagery is accompanied by Judi Dench's voice reciting Shakespeare's sonnets.
Jarman spent seven years making experimental Super 8mm films and attempting to raise money for Caravaggio (he later claimed to have rewritten the script seventeen times during this period). Released in 1986, Caravaggio  attracted a comparatively wide audience; it is still, barring the cult hit Jubilee, probably Jarman's most widely known work. This is partly due to the involvement, for the first time with a Jarman film, of the British television company Channel 4 in funding and distribution. Funded by the British Film Institute and produced by film theorist Colin MacCabe, Caravaggio became Jarman's most famous film to date, and marked the beginning of a new phase in his filmmaking career: from then onwards, all his films would be partly funded by television companies, often receiving their most prominent exhibition in TV screenings. Caravaggio also saw Jarman work with actress Tilda Swinton for the first time. Overt depictions of homosexual love, narrative ambiguity, and the live representations of Caravaggio's most famous paintings are all prominent features in the film.
The conclusion of Caravaggio also marked the beginning of a temporary abandonment of traditional narrative in Jarman's films. Frustrated by the formality of 35mm film production, and by the dependence on institutions and the resultant prolonged inactivity associated with it (which had already cost him seven years with Caravaggio, as well as derailing several long-term projects), Jarman returned to and expanded the super 8mm-based form he had previously worked in on Imagining October and The Angelic Conversation. Caravaggio was entered into the 36th Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Silver Bear for an outstanding single achievement. 
The first film to result from this new semi-narrative phase, The Last of England told the death of a country, ravaged by its own internal decay and the economic restructuring of Thatcher's government. "Wrenchingly beautiful … the film is one of the few commanding works of personal cinema in the late 80's – a call to open our eyes to a world violated by greed and repression, to see what irrevocable damage has been wrought on city, countryside and soul, how our skies, our bodies, have turned poisonous", wrote a Village Voice critic.
In 1989, Jarman's film War Requiem produced by Don Boyd brought Laurence Olivier out of retirement for what would be Olivier's last screen performance. The film uses Benjamin Britten's eponymous anti-war requiem as its soundtrack and juxtaposes violent footage of war with the mass for the dead and the passionate humanist poetry of Wilfred Owen.
During the making of his film The Garden , Jarman became seriously ill. Although he recovered sufficiently to complete the work, he never attempted anything on a comparable scale afterwards, returning to a more pared-down form for his concluding narrative films, Edward II (perhaps his most politically outspoken work, informed by his gay activism) and the Brechtian Wittgenstein , a delicate tragicomedy based on the life of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Jarman made a side income by directing music videos for various artists, including Marianne Faithfull,  The Smiths and the Pet Shop Boys. 
By the time of his 1993 film Blue ,  Jarman was losing his sight and dying of AIDS-related complications. Blue consists of a single shot of saturated blue colour filling the screen, as background to a soundtrack composed by Simon Fisher Turner, and featuring original music by Coil and other artists, in which Jarman describes his life and vision. When it was shown on British television, Channel 4 carried the image whilst the soundtrack was broadcast simultaneously on BBC Radio 3.  Blue was unveiled at the 1993 Venice Biennale with Jarman in attendance and subsequently entered the collections of the Walker Art Institute;  Centre Georges Pompidou,  MoMA  and Tate.  His final work as a film-maker was the film Glitterbug ,  made for the Arena slot on BBC Two, and broadcast shortly after Jarman's death.
Jarman's work broke new ground in creating and expanding the fledgling form of 'the pop video' in England (eg. using his father's WWII archival footage (one of the first people to use a color home movie camera which included the director as a toddler) on the early version of Wang Chung's "Dance Hall Days"), and in gay rights activism.  Several volumes of his diaries have been published. 
Jarman also directed the 1989 tour by the UK duo Pet Shop Boys.> By pop concert standards this was a highly theatrical event with costume and specially shot films accompanying the individual songs. Jarman was the stage director of Sylvano Bussotti's opera L'Ispirazione , first staged in Florence in 1988.
Jarman is also remembered for his famous shingle cottage-garden at Prospect Cottage, created in the latter years of his life, in the shadow of Dungeness nuclear power station. The cottage is built in vernacular style in timber, with tar-based weatherproofing, like others nearby. Raised wooden text on the side of the cottage is the first stanza and the last five lines of the last stanza of John Donne's poem, The Sun Rising. The cottage garden was made by arranging flotsam washed up nearby, interspersed with endemic salt-loving beach plants, both set against the bright shingle. The garden has been the subject of several books. At this time, Jarman also began painting again. 
Jarman was the author of several books including his autobiography Dancing Ledge (1984), which details his life until the age 40. He provides his own insight on the history of gay life in London (60's-80's), discusses his own acceptance of his homosexuality at age 16 and accounts of the financial and emotional hardships of a life devoted to filmmaking.  A collection of poetry A Finger in the Fishes Mouth, two volumes of diaries Modern Nature and Smiling In Slow Motion and two treatises on his work in film and art The Last of England (also published as Kicking the Pricks) and Chroma.
Other notable published works include film scripts (Up in the Air, Blue, War Requiem, Caravaggio, Queer Edward II and Wittgenstein: The Terry Eagleton Script/The Derek Jarman Film), a study of his garden at Dungeness Derek Jarman's Garden, and At Your Own Risk, a defiant celebration of gay sexuality.
After his death, the band Chumbawamba released "Song for Derek Jarman" in his honour. Andi Sexgang released the CD Last of England as a Jarman tribute. The ambient experimental album The Garden Is Full of Metal by Robin Rimbaud included Jarman speech samples. 
Manic Street Preachers' bassist Nicky Wire recorded a track titled "Derek Jarman's Garden" as a b-side to his single "Break My Heart Slowly" (2006). On his album In the Mist, released in 2011, ambient composer Harold Budd features a song titled "The Art of Mirrors (after Derek Jarman)". 
Coil, which in 1985 contributed a soundtrack for Jarman's The Angelic Conversation  released the 7" single "Themes for Derek Jarman's Blue"  in 1993. In 2004, Coil's Peter Christopherson performed his score for the Jarman short The Art of Mirrors as a tribute to Jarman live at L'étrange Festival in Paris. In 2015, record label Black Mass Rising released a recording of the performance.  In 2018, composer Gregory Spears created a work for chorus and string quartet, titled "The Tower and the Garden", commissioned by conductors Donald Nally, Mark Shapiro, Robert Geary and Carmen-Helena Téllez, setting a poem by Keith Garebian from his collection "Blue: The Derek Jarman Poems" (2008).
The French musician and composer Romain Frequency released his first album Research on a nameless colour  in 2020 as a tribute to Jarman's final collection of Essays “Chroma” released in 1994, the year he died and written while struggling with illness (facing the irony of an artist going blind). The songs are devoted to an unexisting colour and their attendant emotion as a transposition of a certain contemplative state into sound. The album received a positive response from the press. 
Jarman's early Super-8 mm work has been included on some of the DVD releases of his films.
Blue is a 1993 drama film directed by Derek Jarman. It is his final feature film, released four months before his death from AIDS-related complications. Such complications had already rendered him partially blind at the time of the film's release, only being able to see in shades of blue.
Jubilee is a 1978 cult film directed by Derek Jarman. It stars Jenny Runacre, Ian Charleson and a host of punk rockers. The title refers to the Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II in 1977.
Sandy Powell is a British costume designer. She has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Costume Design fifteen times, winning three awards for the films Shakespeare in Love (1998), The Aviator (2004), and The Young Victoria (2009). She has also received fifteen BAFTA Award nominations, winning for Velvet Goldmine (1998), The Young Victoria, and The Favourite (2018). Powell has been a frequent collaborator with directors Martin Scorsese and Todd Haynes, having designed the costumes for seven of Scorsese's films and four of Haynes's.
Sebastiane is a 1976 Latin-language British historical film directed by Derek Jarman and Paul Humfress and written by Jarman, Humfress and James Whaley. It portrays the events of the life of Saint Sebastian, including his iconic martyrdom by arrows. The film, which was aimed at a gay audience, was controversial for the homoeroticism portrayed between the soldiers and for having dialogue entirely in Latin.
Caravaggio is a 1986 British historical drama film directed by Derek Jarman. The film is a fictionalised retelling of the life of Baroque painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. It is the film debut of Tilda Swinton and Sean Bean.
Butler's Wharf is an English historic building at Shad Thames on the south bank of the River Thames, just east of London's Tower Bridge, now housing luxury flats and restaurants. Lying between Shad Thames and the Thames Path, it overlooks both the bridge and St Katharine Docks on the north side of the river. Butler's Wharf is also used as a term for the surrounding area. It is a Grade II listed building.
Peter Nigel Terry was an English stage, film, and television actor, typically in historical and period roles. He played Prince John in Anthony Harvey's film The Lion in Winter (1968) and King Arthur in John Boorman's Excalibur (1981).
Lindsay Keith Kemp was a British dancer, actor, teacher, mime artist, and choreographer.
Cyclobe (1999–present) are a music duo formed by Stephen Thrower and Ossian Brown. They make hallucinatory electronic soundscapes by mixing sampled and heavily synthesized sounds with acoustic arrangements for a variety of instruments including hurdy-gurdy, border pipes, duduk and clarinet. Their approach draws upon diverse forms, including acousmatic, drone music, sound collage, folk and progressive rock.
Wittgenstein is a 1993 experimental comedy-drama film directed by Derek Jarman and produced by Tariq Ali. An international co-production of the United Kingdom and Japan, the film is loosely based on the life story as well as the philosophical thinking of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. The adult Wittgenstein is played by Karl Johnson.
The Tempest is a 1979 film adaptation of William Shakespeare's play of the same name. Directed by Derek Jarman, produced by Don Boyd, with Heathcote Williams as Prospero, it also stars Toyah Willcox, Jack Birkett, Karl Johnson and Helen Wellington-Lloyd from Jarman's previous feature, Jubilee (1977).
Simon Fisher Turner is an English musician, songwriter, composer, producer and actor.
Jean-Marc Prouveur is a French artist and filmmaker. He attended L'Ecole de Beaux-Arts in Cambrai.
Prospect Cottage is a house on the coast in Dungeness, Kent. Originally a Victorian fisherman's hut, the house was purchased by director and artist Derek Jarman in 1987, and was his home until his death in 1994.
Delphinium: A Childhood Portrait of Derek Jarman is a 2009 short film based on the early years, work, and legacy of British artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman. The film was written and directed by Matthew Mishory and produced by Iconoclastic Features. It was executive produced by Andreas Andrea. Keith Collins, Jarman's surviving muse, participated in the making of the film. Jonathan Caouette served as a creative advisor. It is the first narrative work about the life of Derek Jarman.
Tony Peake is a novelist, short story writer and biographer. He was born in South Africa, but has been based in Britain since the early 1970s.
Luke Losey is a film director and lighting designer from London.
Jack Birkett was a British dancer, mime artist, actor and singer, best known for his work on stage as a member of Lindsay Kemp's theatre company, and in the films of Derek Jarman. He was often billed as Orlando or The Incredible Orlando. Most of his best-known work was done when he was totally blind.
Sebastiane Award is a prize delivered in September, since 2000, to a film or documentary screened during San Sebastián International Film Festival that best reflects the values and reality of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.
The autograph suit of Sandy Powell is a cream calico toile two-piece suit, designed and worn by multi-Oscar and BAFTA-winning costume designer Sandy Powell. During the film awards season in early 2020, Powell wore the suit and collected celebrities' autographs on it, signed with permanent marker. The suit was then auctioned to raise funds for the purchase of artist, filmmaker and gay rights activist Derek Jarman's cottage at Dungeness in Kent, England. The suit was bought by Edwina Dunn, who then donated it to the Theatre and Performance Collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London. In April 2022 the suit featured in an episode of the BBC Two series, Secrets of the Museum.
To those familiar with his other films, Jarman reinforces his atheism and contempt for traditional Christianity, thereby re-emphasizing the point he just made – that "paradise" is "terrestrial" and is the fruit of human love.