The Derek Jarman Pocket Park is a new green space at the heart of the city. Manchester Art Gallery, volunteers from the Pride In Ageing programme at LGBT Foundation and artist Juliet Davis Drufayard worked together with landscape architects Exterior Architecture to create this public garden. The space is inspired by artist, gay rights activist and gardener Derek Jarman’s celebrated garden in Dungeness, Kent, as well as the life experiences of our over 50s LGBTQ+ communities in Greater Manchester.
Derek Jarman (1942-1994), one of the most radical and influential figures in 20th century British culture, created artworks, films and literature, campaigned for equality and gay rights and fought to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around living with HIV/AIDS. His iconic garden at Dungeness, was an extension of his work as an artist, writer and campaigner, as well as a source of solace in his later years.
The volunteer group who designed and planted the garden are from the same or similar generation to Jarman and continue to be inspired by the messages and movements for LGBTQ+ equality which he and others started in the 1970s and ‘80s. They are supporting LGBT Foundation, a national charity with community centre nearby in Manchester’s Gay Village, to continue their work towards a fair and equal society where all LGBTQ+ people can achieve their full potential.