25 years after his dead Derek Jarman was honoured with an English Heritage Blue Plaque. The plaque was unveiled on February 19 at Butler’s Wharf Building, 36 Shad Thames, SE1 2YE, a former ware house building located on London’s South Bank of the Thames River, not far from Tower Bridge.
Jarman lived and worked there between 1973 and 1979. His studio at Butler’s Wharf bacame the third and also the longest station during the period he spent in warehouses. At this time he started with his Super 8 films in the tradition of private home movies, like these of his father and grandfather. Some of his short films recorded the private live of Bankside and Butler’s Wharf.
The blue plaque, the first one unveiled this year, remembers Jarman as “film-maker, artist and gay rights activist.”
The unveiling was performed by the actor and director Dexter Fletcher and LGBTQ activist Peter Tatchell said:
“Derek was a personal friend and I worked with him for many years. He was a strong supporter of the LGBT+ direct action group OutRage! and was arrested in 1992 when we tried to march on Parliament to demand the repeal of anti-gay laws. As he often reminded people, he spent most of his life as a criminal under legislation that outlawed homosexuality. He gave me and other OutRage! members a cameo part in his film Edward II, to highlight the parallels between Edward’s violent demise and contemporary anti-LBGT violence. Derek was the first UK public figure to come out as HIV-positive, at the Aids & Human Rights conference that I organised to parallel the World Health Minister’s first summit on Aids in 1988.”
And the English Heritage trustee and Blue Plaques panel member, David Olysoga continued:
“Jarman was a major cultural figure of the last quarter of the twentieth century. He was a unique voice in cinema, an important campaigner for gay rights, a painter and a gardener. He brought a creative and disruptive energy to everything he did, at a time when it was urgently needed. We are delighted to honour him here on the South Bank, where he began to create his Super 8 universe.”