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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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Inews: Toyah Willcox: ‘I’ve Trademarked My Name’

October 9th, 2020

Toyah Willcox: ‘You can’t copy me, I’ve trademarked my name’

Toyah Willcox, a National Album Day 80s ambassador, has copywritten her name to stop copycat artists from emerging

“I gave girls the right to believe in themselves. I was getting 10,000 letters a week, most of them starting with ‘I’ve just been expelled from school for dyeing my hair pink,’” reflects Toyah Willcox, the singer and actress whose electric hair and rebellious anthems lit up the charts in the 1980s.

A Top of the Pops fixture with hits like It’s A Mystery, I Want To Be Free and Thunder In The Mountains, accompanied by a video of Toyah thundering across a barren landscape on a chariot, the empowered image portrayed by the Birmingham-born singer directly inspired Shirley Manson and other singers who adapted her punk style.

The only pop star to have acted opposite Laurence Olivier and appeared in two films directed by arthouse auteur Derek Jarman, before going on to narrate the BBC’s Teletubbies, Toyah, 62, has now trademarked herself as a one-word “brand.”

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