In the 1980s filmmaker and artist Derek Jarman bought a derelict fisherman’s hut on the desolate single beach of Dungeness. The house was called Prospect Cottage and it was in the wild garden he grew there that Jarman found solace from the HIV/AIDS diagnosis that would eventually claim his life in 1994. My Garden’s Boundaries are the Horizon, at the the Garden Museum, is the first exhibition to focus on Jarman’s love of gardening and his passion for the natural world. The museum asked us to design a book to accompany the sensitive and inspiring exhibition.
The book is illustrated with Jarman’s personal photos of the garden and childhood, film stills and artworks. Essays and articles intersperse the imagery, including a very personal reminiscence of his time with Jarman by photographer Howard Sooley. To accompany Sooley’s essay we selected a very special set of his photographs, printed on photographic paper stock and inserted into text. Underneath the jacket, the debossed rules and type on the cover echo the tar weatherproofed timber fisherman’s hut. The edges of the book are coloured to match the doors and windows of the cottage that Jarman painted in striking yellow.
We also worked with theatre designer Jeremy Herbert on the exhibition which includes sculpture, paintings and film work from the Jarman archives. The entrance gives the visitor the opportunity to walk across the shingle of Dungeness into a replica of Prospect Cottage. The exhibition was named Exhibition of the Year at the 2021 Museum & Heritage Awards.
My Garden’s Boundaries are the Horizon is the fourth in a series of books and exhibitions for the Garden Museum.
The Jarman catalogue has met with such a wonderful reaction.
Exceptional sales, but I have lost count of the compliments.
Christopher Woodward, Director, The Garden Museum