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Inews: Derek Jarman – Protest! Review

December 15th, 2021

Derek Jarman: Protest!, Manchester Art Gallery, review: A fascinating sprint through a fearless career

The exhibition surveys the polymath’s wildly diverse work, from paintings to film, design to drag – and gardening

Film director Derek Jarman had a meteoric impact on British culture in the 70s, 80s and early 90s before his death in 1994. His work spanned low culture and high – Pet Shop Boys videos to Don Giovanni, punk to Shakespeare. Perhaps because in all he sensed the same human urges: sex, power, creativity, cruelty, magic and manipulation, delight in beauty and the urge to self-destructive behaviour.

Painting bookended Jarman’s creative life, and forms the core of Protest! at Manchester Art Gallery. Along the way there are jagged little sorties into his work in set design, performance, film, activism and gardening in adversity. (HOME in Manchester will also run a Jarman film season in the new year.)

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