Events

Film screening

Caravaggio

in partnership with The Capitol Cinema

Saturday 22 June, 4pm

Derek Jarman’s most profound reflection on art, sexuality and identity retells the life of the celebrated 17th-century painter through his brilliant, nearly blasphemous paintings and his flirtations with the underworld. Caravaggio (1986) incorporates the painter’s precise aesthetic into the movie’s own visuals, while touching on all of Jarman’s major concerns: history, homosexuality, violence and the relationship between painting and film.

Runtime: 93 minutes

Film screening

The Angelic Conversation

in partnership with The Capitol Cinema

Saturday 22 June, 6pm

Reminiscent of Jarman’s music videos for The Smiths or The Pet Shop Boys; comparable to earlier work by the likes of Jean Genet or Kenneth Anger. Like being submerged into someone’s private fantasies.

Intense, dreamlike, and, poetic, The Angelic Conversation (1985) is one of the most artistic of Jarman’s films. With a painter’s eye Jarman conjures an evocative and radical visualisation of Shakespeare’s love poems narrated by Judi Dench, charting the relationship between two men, in a beautiful palette of light, colour and texture.

Jarman called it, “My most austere work, but also the closest to my heart.”

Runtime: 78 minutes

Film screening

WITTGENSTEIN

in partnership with The Capitol Cinema

Sunday 23 June, 2.40pm

Wittgenstein (1993) is a humorous portrait of one of the 20th century’s most influential philosophers. This self-tortured eccentric, who preferred detective fiction and the musicals of Carmen Miranda to Aristotle, is a fitting subject for Jarman’s irreverent imagination.

A visually stunning and profoundly entertaining work about modern philosophy and the dark genius that revolutionized it.

Runtime: 72 minutes

Film screening

The Garden

in partnership with The Capitol Cinema

Sunday 23 June, 4.20pm

Half waking dream and half fiery polemic, The Garden (1990) was born of director Jarman’s rage over continued anti-gay discrimination and the sluggardly response to the AIDS crisis—he had been diagnosed HIV positive in 1986.

Starring Tilda Swinton, this uniquely kaleidoscopic film shows the filmmaker’s genius at its most coruscating, making space in its breadth of vision for an over-the-top Hollywood-style musical number, nightmare images of tar-and-feather queer persecution, and footage of the particularly menacing-looking nuclear power plant that overlooks Jarman’s own garden, the point from which his film begins, and a cherished spot which he must keep to tending even as his body begins to betray him.

Writhing with sorrow and anger, and yet so vividly alive to the loveliness of being, The Garden is a baleful and beautiful epistle from the brink of the beyond

Runtime: 92 minutes

Film screening

Blue

in partnership with The Capitol Cinema

Sunday 23 June, 6.20pm

Sometime in 1992, during a trip to St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, the filmmaker, writer and painter Derek Jarman was told his eyesight was fading.

‘Fizzy holes’ had appeared in his vision: the result of an AIDS-related complication that would, by the end of the year, leave him blind in one eye. In this growing darkness, to his surprise, he started seeing flashes of bright Yves Klein blue. This had always been his favourite colour – the blue of his boiler suits, or the skies over the Dungeness coast – and, during the last months of his life, it inspired his final, most personal film. 

In Blue (1993), he wrote straightforwardly about his body and the illnesses besieging it: the night sweats, aching glands, headaches and ‘scrambled reflexes’.

Narrated by John Quentin, Tilda Swinton, Nigel Terry and Jarman, the text is an unflinching account of his fear, uncertainty and courage in the face of impending death. By pairing it with a single shot of blue, luminescent and unchanging throughout its 79-minute running time, viewers experience for themselves the terror of Jarman’s diminishing eye-sight, but also the freedom of transcending it: he wonders, at one moment, what lies beyond the sky.

Runtime: 77 minutes

Workshop

Abstract painting for kids

Saturday 6 July

Jump-start the school holidays by bringing your whānau to Gus Fisher Gallery for an introductory abstract painting workshop. In collaboration with Māpura Studios, tutor Tim Danko will encourage tamariki to explore the medium of paint, taking inspiration from the tactile and textural impasto paintings of Derek Jarman.

10.30-11.30am: Suitable for ages 5-8

1.30-2.30pm: Suitable for ages 9-12

All materials provided; parental supervision required.

Workshop

Out of bounds

Queer knitting with Kat Aucamp

Saturday 13 July, 11am

“There are no walls or fences. My garden’s boundaries are the horizon.” – Derek Jarman, Modern Nature (1989).

In the desolate, hostile landscape of Dungeness, Jarman created an unconventional, uneven and random paradise with his garden at Prospect Cottage. Here he gardened without convention or constraint, finding therapeutic comfort and peace.

Tāmaki Makaurau based artist Kat Aucamp shares a kindred approach in their knitwear design practice. Knitting without patterns or rigid frameworks, Aucamp champions learning through doing and experimenting, rejecting stuffiness and conformity.

This workshop will demystify knitting as a craft, offering a starting point for queer people wanting to design and make their own original clothing. Aucamp will breakdown the process of knitting a garment from start to finish, using an item of clothing that you already own as a framework. There will also be a focus on how to knit cheaply by sourcing from opshops.

The workshop is open to anyone from the rainbow and takatāpuhi communities of any age. No knitting or design experience is required. Experienced knitters are also welcome to attend and learn an alternative approach!

All materials will be provided and you will leave with needles and yarn to begin your knitting journey. Bring along one item of clothing that you love the shape/ length/ fit of such as a tank top, vest or t-shirt.

Please note this workshop will take place at Aaiotanga Community Space, on 22 Emily Place.

Workshop

Pasture painting

with Sarah Smuts-Kennedy

Saturday 27 July, 10.30am

One of Derek Jarman’s long lasting legacies is that of his home at Prospect Cottage in Dungeness, England, surrounded by his cherished garden cultivated from scratch.

Inspired by Jarman’s passion for gardening, join us in collaboration with artist Sarah Smuts-Kennedy (co-founder of For the Love of Bees) and Aaiotanga Trust for this wellbeing-focused workshop where you will contribute to the making of a Pasture Painting. Through sowing quick-growth seeds in a geometric shape, we will create a temporary artwork that will flourish over the course of the exhibition and explore how connecting with nature through gardening can promote healing.

All materials provided. Location to be announced.

Registrations open 22 June.

Poetry readings

A Blind kind of violence

a publication by bad apple

Thursday 1 August, 6.30pm

Gus Fisher Gallery and bad apple present the newly commissioned zine-style publication, A Blind Kind of Violence. Created in response to the life and work of Derek Jarman, this publication features writing from four emerging and established queer arts practitioners based in Tāmaki Makaurau. With essays from Sam Te Kani and Micheal McCabe, and poetry from Ruby Macomber and Hannah Patterson, A Blind Kind of Violence filters Jarman’s artistic practices through the lens of contemporary, queer Aotearoa. Join us for an evening of readings to celebrate the launch, where the participating writers will share their contributions alongside excerpts from Jarman’s own writing.

This publication’s creation was facilitated by bad apple editor Damien Levi with cover art and design by Brandon Lin. Copies are available for free.

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Gus Fisher Gallery
74 Shortland Street
Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland Central 1010

Tuesday – Friday:
10am – 5pm
Saturdays:
10am – 4pm