Derek Jarman's SMILING IN SLOW MOTION concludes the journey started in 'Modern Nature" these previosuly unpublished journals stretch from May 1991 until a fortnight before his death in 1994. Part diary, part observation, part memoir, Jarman writes with his familiar honesty, wry humour and acuity. Friends, collaborators and enemies are catalogued as he races through his last year painting, film-making, gardening, and annoying his targets through his involvement in radical politics. Writing from his Charing Cross Road flat, on his visits to international film festivals, his world famous garden at Dungeness in Kent, and finally from his bed in St Bart's Hospital, Jarman illuminates an era which seems more ephemeral and out-of-grasp with each passing day.
Derek Jarman's creativity spanned decades and genres - painter, theatre designer, director, film maker, writer and gardener.From his first one-man show at the Lisson Gallery in 1969; set designs and costumes for the theatre and ballet (Jazz Calendar with Frederick Ashton at Covent Garden, Don Giovanni with John Gielgud at the London Coliseum, The Rake's Progress with Ken Russell at Teatro Communale, Florence); production design for Ken Russell's films The Devils and Savage Messiah; through his own films in super-8 before working on features- Sebastine (1976), Jubilee (1978), The Tempest (1979), The Angelic Conversation (1985), Caravaggio (1986), The Last of England (1987), War Requiem (1989), The Garden (1990), Edward II (1991), Wittgenstein (1993), and Blue (1993); to directing pop-videos and live performances for Pet Shop Boys and Suede.His paintings - for which he was a Turner Prize nominee in 1986 - have been exhibited world-wide.His garden surrounding the fisherman's cottage in Dungeness where he spent the last years of his life remains a site of awe and pilgrimage to fans and newcomers to Jarman's singular vision.His publications include- Dancing Ledge (1984), Kicking the Pricks (1987), Modern Nature (1991), At Your Own Risk (1992), Chroma (1994), Derek Jarman's Garden (1995).