The idea of saving Derek Jarman’s house from the elements, well, why not? Assuming that he is the icon of gay liberation (or whichever variant of LGBTQ campaigning you want to talk about) organising a whip round in said community shouldn’t be difficult. A couple of thousand people chipping in a couple of hundred quid each – GoFundMe or the like seems like an appropriate place to try that.
It might seem strange to think of Jarman’s joy in the transience of his art in the context of a recently launched Art Fund campaign to raise £3.5m in 10 weeks to purchase and save Prospect Cottage, his home and workplace in Dungeness, Kent.
£3.5 million to “save it”?
Why? It’s a tiny cottage on Dungeness beach for goodness sake. Other than the association with Jarman it’s worth about a beach hut. No, really, you can check local house prices these days. £100k to £200k, tops. You could buy another one of these houses every year from the income on a £3.5 million fund.
What in buggery are they trying to spend the money upon?
That the association with Jarman makes it more valuable, OK, fine. But then that means that because it’s more valuable because of the association with Jarman it doesn’t need saving. Any rational owner will preserve it because of the value from the association with Jarman.
To insist that the £3.5 million must be paid to preserve that value is simply nonsense.
Now, of course, there’s another way to look at this. Perhaps the £3.5 million is to create an interactive centre for the appreciation of the life and work of Derek Jarman around his cottage on Dungeness Beach. Alright, if that’s what you want to do, although that would rather change that isolation which makes the place. But if that is what is desired then it’s not about saving the cottage, is it?
The only other possible explanation is that there’s some fnarr fnarr mistake here about saving cottaging.