Derek Jarman's Sketchbooks

Derek Jarman's Sketchbooks

  1. Edited by Stephen Farthing
  2. Ed Webb-Ingall
  • ISBN 9780500516942
  • 26.60 x 20.60 cm
  • Quarterbound/PLC (no jacket)
  • 256pp
  • 196 Illustrations, 187 in colour
  • First published 2013
‘The book will delight Jarman’s still-growing faithful, for whom he remains a unique and irreplaceable artist and provocateur’ – The Observer
‘Brings Jarman and his art into fuller and more luminous perspective … painstakingly edited and strikingly reproduced’ – New Statesman
‘... distills the many strands that made up Jarman’s work – humour, torrential creativity, romanticism and the palpable political anger that burned fiercely during the dog days of Thatcherism’– Dazed & Confused

See more press reviews

An intimate portrait of one of Britain’s most influential film-makers
– a cult in his lifetime; a cult today

There are few more complete examples of an artist’s record of their own life than the intimately detailed and beautifully produced books that Derek Jarman created throughout his career.

Derek Jarman's Sketchbooks
For details of all Derek Jarman 2014 anniversary events please visit
Jarman 2014

See the video Inside Derek Jarman's Sketchbooks at the BFI National Archive

Seen together they reveal the story of how he gathered, shaped and made concrete his ideas. Containing poetry, drawings, pressed flowers, photographs, scripts and notes, the sketchbooks are part autobiography and part social history, bursting with the energy and creativity of this groundbreaking artist. Wholly private during his lifetime, these precious books reveal the detailed planning – and creative and emotional engagement – behind each of his films.

Derek Jarman's Sketchbooks

This book collates the best of Jarman’s sketchbooks to reveal his film-making process in more depth than ever before.

Contributions from people closely tied to Jarman’s work bring to life the filmmaker’s social circle and the cultural climate of Britain in the 1970s and 80s. Excerpts from early scripts, sketches and notes in particular ensure this is destined to be an essential work.

Stephen Farthing is the Rootstein Hopkins Research Professor of Drawing at the University of the Arts, London. Ed Webb-Ingall is a film producer who holds a research position at the Chelsea College of Art and Design, London. Tilda Swinton’s film debut was Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio, which marked the beginning of a close association with the director.

Derek Jarman's Sketchbooks deluxe edition
Click the cover, left, to see details of the deluxe edition of 500 copies, featuring a numbered copy of Derek Jarman’s Sketchbooks and three prints.