Vintage Classics is launching a new edition of Modern Nature by Derek Jarman. The book is the first publication in a year-long celebration of the artist ahead of the 25th anniversary of his death.
Launching the new edition, Olivia Laing, author of The Lonely City who has written the introduction, will be in conversation with filmmaker Sarah Wood and writer Philip Hoare this evening (9th May) at the London Review Bookshop.
Modern Nature is the first of four reissues and is the diary of his garden at Prospect Cottage on the stark Dungeness coast. It is also a meditation by Jarman on his own life: his childhood, his time as a young gay man in the 1960s, his renowned career as an artist, writer and film-maker.
According to Vintage, it is "at once a lament for a lost generation, an unabashed celebration of gay sexuality, and a devotion to all that is living".
It will be followed by: Smiling in Slow Motion, introduced by Neil Bartlett, in August this year; Chroma: A Book of Colour, in January 2019; and At Your Own Risk: A Saint’s Testament, in June 2019. Further events will take place throughout the year.
Jarman, born in London in 1942, had a career spanning decades and genres, from painter, theatre designer, director, film maker, to poet, writer, campaigner and gardener. He died on 19th February 1994 of an AIDS-related illness.
Maddy Hartley from Vintage editorial said: "I couldn’t be more excited about this beautiful set of reissues. For me, Derek Jarman’s writing was a revelation – furious, tender, political and funny by turns. He was one of the country’s foremost creative minds and openly, unapologetically queer to boot. It’s my hope that this series, with its stunning new introductions and jackets, will bring Jarman’s writing the recognition it deserves and secure him a whole new generation of fans."