In Chroma, his most poetic and lyrical book, Derek Jarman explores the uses of colour in art, from medieval paintings through the modernists, and in doing so draws on the great colour theorists from Pliny to Leonardo. Interwoven with these musings are Jarman's evocative memories from his illustrious career and early life, along with reflections of his deteriorating health.
Written a year before Jarman's death, and as his eyesight was failing, this is an intensely personal work; a paean to colour from an artist seeking to memorialise its centrality to all aspects of his life.
Derek Jarman was born in London in 1942. His career spanned decades and genres, from painter, theatre designer, director, film maker, to poet, writer, campaigner and gardener. His features include Sebastiane (1976), Jubilee (1978), Caravaggio (1986), The Last of England (1987), Edward II (1991) and Blue (1993). His paintings - for which he was a Turner Prize nominee in 1986 - continue to be exhibited worldwide, and his garden in Dungeness remains a site of pilgrimage to fans and newcomers alike.