Derek Jarman’s cottage saved by £3.5 million fundraising campaign

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A £3.5 million fundraising target has been met to save a cottage formerly owned by the late artist and filmmaker Derek Jarman.

The money was raised after campaigners secured the funding from over 7,300 donations made from more than 40 countries in a 10-week period.

The cottage, which was at risk of being sold privately, will now be bought by the Art Fund charity, with the building, its contents and its garden being preserved.

Derek Jarman
Jarman bought the house in 1986 (Adam Butler/PA)

It will also play host to a residency programme for creatives in a number of different fields.

Stephen Deuchar, director of Art Fund, said that securing the future of the cottage “may seem a minor thing by comparison with the global epidemic crisis which has recently enveloped all our lives”.

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He added: “But Derek Jarman’s final years at the cottage were an inspiring example of human optimism, creativity and fortitude battling against the ravages of illness, and in that context the success of this campaign seems all the more apposite and right for its time.”

An Art Fund grant of £500,000, as well as a donation of £750,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, helped secure the future of the cottage, which is in Dungeness, Kent.

Sandy Powell suit sale
Sandy Powell (Matt Alexander/PA)

A total of £16,000 was also raised by the sale of a suit designed by costume designer and triple Oscar-winner Sandy Powell after she asked A-listers to sign it before it was auctioned.

Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson, Brad Pitt, Renee Zellweger, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Elton John and Joaquin Phoenix were among those who obliged.

Swinton said: “When Derek initiated the project of making this little house on the shingle the unique and magically empowering space it has come to be, not only for him, but for so many of us, it was at a time of intense uncertainty and fragility in his own life.

“That our casting of the net of our appeal to keep this project alive has coincided with the phenomenal global challenge to community with which we are currently faced – and that that net has still come in so full of bounty – has only served to prove how invaluable this vision of future is to us all.”

Jarman purchased the cottage in 1986 and it is filled with more than 40 of his works of art.

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