A look inside Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage

A new book by the photographer Gilbert McCarragher will give readers a first-look inside Derek Jarman's famous home on the shingle of Dungeness.

On the shingle at the beach in Dungeness, Kent, a Victorian fisherman’s hut stands proudly. This structure, called Prospect Cottage, was the home of director and artist Derek Jarman from 1987 until his death in 1994.

The gardens of Prospect Cottage are much visited and widely known, cultivated in the shingle surrounding the pitch-black building. Sculptures assembled from the flotsam of the sea are interspersed with plants that can survive the unprotected and unpredictable forces of coastal weather.

The garden at Prospect Cottage. Credit: Gilbert McCarragher

Inside, however, Prospect Cottage has remained a mystery. Saved for the nation in 2020, the property and its contents have remained a most exclusive secret. However, a new book by the photographer Gilbert McCarragher will allow readers ‘into the personal sanctuary of the iconic artist for the very first time’.

A friend of Keith Collins, who owned Prospect Cottage following Jarman’s death, Mr McCarragher was invited to photograph the house in 2018, compiling 160 images that are now accompanied by reflective essays that intent to take the reader inside the cottage and ‘reveal something of its history’.

Published on April 4, via Thames and Hudson, a selection of images can be viewed below. 

The Garden Room. Credit: Gilbert McCarragher

Pencils arranged on Jarman’s desk, which looks out across the shingle to the sea. Credit: Gilbert McCarragher

The Studio. Credit: Gilbert McCarragher

A clapperboard from The Tempest (1979). Credit: Gilbert McCarragher

One Day’s Medication (1993) collates the daily does of pills and injections required to treat the effects of the HIV virus described in Blue (1993). Credit: Gilbert McCarragher

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