The New York Times recently ran a feature on the effort to preserve and maintain a cottage and garden owned by filmmaker-provocateur Derek Jarman. If you wonder what this has to do with magick — it’s above your degree.
“The house, called Prospect Cottage, was home to the British filmmaker, artist and activist Derek Jarman, a prominent figure in avant-garde London circles from the 1970s to the ’90s. His first feature, “Sebastiane” (1976), a film all in Latin about the martyrdom of St. Sebastian, garnered attention for its unabashed homoeroticism. Jarman went on to direct many films based on gay and bisexual historical figures, like the arty biopics “Caravaggio” (1986) and “Wittgenstein” (1993). He also made music videos for the Smiths, Pet Shop Boys, and Bryan Ferry.
“In 1986, after testing positive for H.I.V. and at the height of the panic over the virus, Jarman spoke publicly about his diagnosis and became a leading voice of AIDS activism. The same year, he bought Prospect Cottage for 32,000 pounds, or about $48,000 at the time, with a modest inheritance from his father, and soon began his garden there.
“In his diaries, Jarman wrote of the salve the garden provided him amid the AIDS crisis. He saw his “pharmacopoeia” of medicinal plants, lavender, daffodils, sea kale and wild bees as therapy, and, in an interview for British television a year before his death, said: I should’ve been a gardener.’”