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Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage.

Artists Launch Fundraiser to Preserve Derek Jarman’s Home and Garden

Tacita Dean, Jeremy Deller, Tilda Swinton, and Wolfgang Tillmans are among the artists fighting to preserve Derek Jarman’s beloved Prospect Cottage, his home and famous garden in Dungeness, a hamlet on the coast of Kent, England, which has been a beloved site of pilgrimage and remembrance, The Guardian reports.

Jarman bought the home in 1986. Following his death in 1994, it was maintained by his companion Keith Collins until his passing in 2018. Friends of the late artist as well as the Slade School of Art and the Tate are aiming to raise $4.5 million in ten weeks to prevent the private sale of the house, which many see as a work of Jarman’s art. “First and foremost, the cottage was always a living thing, a practical toolbox for his work,” said Swinton at the launch of the fundraising campaign at the school on Wednesday. 

With pledges of $981,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, $654,000 from the Art Fund, and $327,000 from the Linbury Trust, the preservationists have nearly reached half of their goal. Since 2018, Collins had planned for the Tate to maintain the artist’s archive and the charity Creative Folkestone to take over the cottage’s long-term care, so that residencies and tours of the property could still take place. 

“The word unique is overused, but this really is a unique environment, it’s a unique building,” said Deller. “Within it you can see his thought processes, you can see his work and it is all in such incredible condition. . . . He deserves to have this kept as it was.”

Speaking about his property, Jarman once said: “Paradise haunts gardens, and some gardens are paradises. Mine is one of them.”