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Monday, 13 June 2011
Derek Jarman's Garden
This photo of Dungeness is courtesy of TripAdvisor
The sea brought sculptures to his door:
a heft of timber like a megalith
bleached marble-white, salt stained and pitted,
mortised by a craftsman long ago
to give a window on this flotsam world.
And through that window, flints and shells
sea kale and cotton lavender, a tangle here
of wire, a Gordian Knot of rope, a twist
of driftwood; lovingly arranged on shingle
into which by wizardry the plants are pressed
that are indigenous to this lone beach,
equipped to fight the salty winds
for their continuance. We too are threatened
and the threat seems real: across the beach,
a hulk-like shape that could irradiate us all.
Derek Jarman (Jan '42 - Feb '94); film director, stage designer, artist, author, diarist, lived in Prospect Cottage on the beach at Dungeness in the shadow of the atomic power station. He created a unique garden from what was there and what could survive there. There were, and are, no fences. No boundaries. The garden is part of the beach and is continuous with it. The cottage is not exactly open to the public, but his fans have maintained it and the garden in the style he made his own.