Director and painter DJ was born 31.01.1942 in Middlesex, Great Britain. Studied at King's College London (1960-1963) that was followed by studies at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. His first exhibition was held at the gallery Lisson in London (1967). Worked as a costume designer for opera and ballet, found his interest in film in early 1970's. His outspoken homosexuality, which meant a certain sense of insularity and spite in the conservative Great Britain of 1970's and 1980's, was of major importance in Derek Jarman's creative work. DJ has made a number
of experimental films, and his first full-length film Sebastiane (1976) is considered to be one of the most erotic and downright British films. DJ directed films Caravaggio (1986), War Requiem (1988), The Last of England (1988, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award), The Garden (1990), Edward II (1991, FIPRESCI Award 1992), Wittgenstein (1993, Berlin IFF Award, included in the Arsenāls IFF 1994 and 2008 programmes), a.o.
In 1987, he was diagnosed HIV positive, and was notable for discussing his condition in public, and taking an active part in AIDS research programs. In 1989, he made a music video for the Pet Shop Boys song It’s a Sin. Symbolic and conceptual is his farewell film Blue (1993). Derek Jarman died from AIDS on 19.02.1994, age 52.
Isaac Julien made documentary Derek (2008, nominated to the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance FF), many other cultural and art events were dedicated to the memory of Derek Jarman. Serpentine Gallery in London has established a Derek Jarman Award (worth £20000) for aspiring filmmakers, innovation and excellence in film art.