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August 12, 2014

Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage

The Late Artist's Seaside Arcadia is Our Final Great Garden

“Paradise haunts gardens and it haunts mine,” wrote the late painter, filmmaker, theater designer and author Derek Jarman. His vast garden was established in 1986 on the bleak British landscape of Dungeness, Kent around an old tar-painted fisherman’s cottage, neighboring a nuclear power station. “It becomes part of the landscape and the wildness becomes part of the garden,” says the director and narrator of the last in our Great Gardens series, Howard Sooley. A photographer, gardener, and Jarman’s dear friend, Sooley first started visiting Prospect Cottage in the late 1980s. Together, they went on to produce a record of how the garden evolved, Derek Jarman’s Garden—the last book Jarman ever wrote. “My favorite thing that I ever planted there was a perfect circle of foxgloves from scattering seed collected near the power station,” he adds. “But above all I love that, visually, the garden doesn’t end.” The keen plantsman still tends to the garden along with Jarman’s partner Keith Collins, who lives at the cottage. Beauty punctuates the sparseness with sea kale, wild red poppies, and fiendishly blue cornflowers. Beachcombed metal sculptures, stone circles, and wind-twisted wood mark the framework for the various areas, while poet John Donne’s “The Sunne Rising” adorns one of the cottage walls.—Lee C. Wallick 

“The Sunne Rising” (abridged) by John Donne (1633)

Busie old foole, unruly Sunne,
Why dost thou thus,
Through windowes, and through curtains call on us?
Must to thy motion lovers’ seasons run?
Sawcy pedantique wretch, goe chide
Late schoole boyes and sowre prentices,
Goe tell Court-huntsmen, that the King will ride,
Call countrey ants to harvest offices;
Love, all alike, no season knows, nor clyme,
Nor houres, dayes, moneths, which are the rags of time…
Thou sunne art halfe as happy as wee,
In that the world’s contracted thus.
Thine age askes ease, and since thy duties bee
To warme the world, that’s done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art everywhere;
This bed thy centre is, these walls thy spheare.

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The Foodist Manifesto

Renowned Artists and Designers Cook Up Dada Snacks in Northern Italy

A cake made into a pie chart by Martí Guixé, a baguette repurposed as a shackle by Alexis Georgacopoulos and a knife and fork made from a potato and a leek by Peter Marigold were captured in photographer Daniel Stier’s clinical yet surreal style during a late night lock-in at Museo d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto (MART). Because the objects had to be shot outside of museum hours, Stier and his assistant were granted access in the dead of night with just an elusive night guard for company: “It was just a beautiful atmosphere to be locked in alone in the museum in that crazy exhibition.” The northern Italian museum’s current exhibition The Food Project takes Good Design by Bruno Munari as a starting point to showcase food-inspired imagery derived from artists, designers and chefs including Bompas & Parr, Marcel Wanders, Carlo Cracco and Philippe Starck. Steir, who has shot for Wallpaper*The New York Times’ T Magazine and W as well as exhibiting internationally at venues including the Moscow House of Photography and the Festival International de Mode et de Photographie in Hyères, was attracted to the show's mash-up potential. “I wanted to create a set of images that’s pitched somewhere between a test kitchen and a science lab,” he explains. “With a bit of a mad-scientist twist.”

The Food Project runs through June 2 at MART.

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Escapade: A Parisian Love Affair

Martial Schmeltz’s Story of a Secret City for Luxury Design House Pierre Frey

“It’s a nighttime romance in Paris,” says French director Martial Schmeltz of his enchanting short film that stars Amandine Decroix and Pierre-Benoit Talbourdet Napoleone. “A city of wild, classy, underground glamor—the perfect playground for games of seduction.” Escapade is both a love story between the two alluring protagonists and an homage to the City of Lights. Cours Florent-trained Decroix and fellow model and actor Talbourdet Napoleone play the film’s cat-and-mouse lovers, meeting up across three iconic—yet secret—Parisian locations that feature interiors by the luxurious Pierre Frey. Founded in 1935, Pierre Frey’s timeless patterns and fabrics reflect the traditions of Parisian history and set the mood of the film’s dreamlike atmosphere with an amorous piano-led score by Mattias Mimoun. “Pierre Frey knows better than anyone what colors and patterns suit this city, and creating a picture filled with lots of color emphasizes the feeling of love,” says Schmeltz, who has made award-winning music videos for Justice, Chromeo and The Streets with his longtime collaborator, Surface2air’s Jeremie Rozan. “The production design could act as subtitles for each scene, while the three locations emphasize the emotional tension of the film.” The collaboration ultimately works as an ode to the city. “This film is a declaration of love to Paris,” muses Talbourdet Napoleone, “the elegance and eroticism.”

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