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Photographer Gilbert McCarragher invites readers into the personal sanctuary of iconic queer artist Derek Jarman for the first time in Prospect Cottage: Derek Jarman’s House.

Prospect Cottage is often regarded as Jarman’s ultimate masterpiece, encapsulating his identity as a multifaceted artist, LGBTQ+ activist, and courageous human being.

While Prospect Cottage’s gardens in Dungeness are well-known, few people have seen inside the cottage. McCarragher’s book opens the door to Jarman’s unseen home. If Jarman’s garden is key to his lively and life-affirming outside universe, the house provides a microcosm of his inner worldview.

After Derek Jarman passed away, his partner Keith Collins inherited the cottage. Collins made only minor changes to the house, like adding curtains to prevent visitors to the garden from peeking inside.

© Thames & Hudson

Collins died suddenly in 2018. Gilbert McCarragher, a friend and neighbour, was then asked to document the cottage extensively. This was the first time a photographer had taken such detailed photographs of the cottage, which is considered an artwork in its own right.

McCarragher’s 160 photographs are presented room-by-room with reflective essays. Each essay explores the cottage’s history and the experience of photographing there.

Prospect Cottage: Derek Jarman’s House with photography by Gilbert McCarragher is published 4th April by Thames & Hudson, £25.

Prospect Cottage: Derek Jarman’s House.

Prospect Cottage: Derek Jarman's House
© Gilbert McCarragher. Prospect Cottage from above.
Prospect Cottage: Derek Jarman's House
© Gilbert McCarragher. The sun sets behind Prospect Cottage towards Lydd.
© Gilbert McCarragher. Studio.
© Gilbert McCarragher. Spring Room.
Prospect Cottage: Derek Jarman's House
© Gilbert McCarragher. Prospect Cottage exterior.
Prospect Cottage: Derek Jarman's House
© Gilbert McCarragher. Prospect Cottage exterior.
© Gilbert McCarragher. Bedroom.
© Gilbert McCarragher. With the net curtains down, the presence of visitors to the garden throughout the day is more keenly felt.
Derek Jarman's House
© Gilbert McCarragher. Excerpt from John Donne, ‘The Sunne Rising’, 1633, on the southern wall of Prospect Cottage.
© Gilbert McCarragher. Front Room.
© Gilbert McCarragher. Garden Room.
© Gilbert McCarragher. Raw canvases and brushes are stored alongside tubs of grommets and weights used for fishing. 
Prospect Cottage: Derek Jarman's House
© Gilbert McCarragher. Driftwood staves, or sentinels, stand in the corners; atop one sits the puppet Twinkle in the Eye.
© Gilbert McCarragher. Driftwood staves, orsentinels, stand in the corners; atop one sits the puppet Twinkle in the Eye.
© Gilbert McCarragher. Jarman’s desk looks out across the shingle to the sea.
Derek Jarman's House
© Gilbert McCarragher. He-Man clutches a classical plaster cast, c. 1988.
© Gilbert McCarragher. Black nut necklaces in one of Jarman’s altar-like assemblages.
© Gilbert McCarragher. One Day’s Medication, 1993, collates the daily dose of pills and injections required to treat the effects of the HIV virus described in Blue (1993). 
Prospect Cottage: Derek Jarman's House
© Gilbert McCarragher. Black foil pasted atop the thick oil paintings reads ‘Ego Et Arcadia’ (Arcadia and I) and ‘Horror’.
Prospect Cottage: Derek Jarman's House
© Gilbert McCarragher. Above the fireplace, a charcoal drawing of Keith by Robert Medley, made in 1989.
Prospect Cottage: Derek Jarman's House
© Gilbert McCarragher. The kitchen at Prospect Cottage.
© Gilbert McCarragher. A handwritten note on the front door of the cottage.
© Gilbert McCarragher. Elder, planted directly opposite the entrance, is said to keep witches from the house; garlands of holey stones likewise play a protective role.
© Gilbert McCarragher. Tools are displayed along the corridor and in the entranceway to the garden room. Jarman had his favourite hoe, its head worn down from use in the shingle, cast in bronze by Peter Fillingham.
Prospect Cottage: Derek Jarman's House
© Gilbert McCarragher. The loft entrance is accessed via an external staircase.
© Gilbert McCarragher. Pictures and posters are stacked high, stored with the tools for maintaining Prospect.
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