I find myself sometimes thinking of you

by Caitlin

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Derek Jarman is a big influence on my work. Jarman first became known as a stage designer, getting his break in the film industry as production designer for Ken Russell‘sThe Devils (1970). He later made his debut in “overground” narrative filmmaking with Sebastiane (1976), about the martyrdom of St. Sebastian.

One of the most influential filmmakers of the late 20th century, Derek Jarman directed cult feature films such as Jubilee (1977) and Caravaggio (1986), as well as music videos for The Smiths, the Pet Shop Boys and Marianne Faithfull. He also trained in fine art and a painterly mentality permeates all his work, particularly his experimental Super 8 films.

His films are full of potent symbolism, magic, ritual and a sensitive and captivating portrayal of the people in his world. His work often explores mysticism, male sexuality, homosexuality, landscape and mythology.

It’s a mixture of his suggestiveness and ambiguity that he uses as a tool to create a tone, a scene, a feeling. I find is work evocative and transforming, there is a narrative structure; but it is non linear, and built on the process of connecting icons, symbols and juxtaposition. It is also suggestive in the sense that it infers  to meaning, instead of spelling out the symbolic narrative to the viewer.

Below are stills from two of my favourite works. Sulphur and Tarot.

Sulphur 1973

A mixture of superimpositions of fantasy, and ritual. A depiction of an almost there memory, filled with tones of desire, chance and infatuation.

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Tarot 1973

A collaborative fantasy created by Derek Jarman and Christopher Hobbs, in which a cloaked magician deals the cards and enters a Black and Red world of forbidden pleasures.

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