Derek Jarman was born at the Royal Victoria Nursing Home in Northwood, Middlesex, England. His father was a military officer, born in New Zealand. He boarded at Canford School in Dorset, and from 1960 studied at King's College London. This was followed by four years at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London (UCL), starting in 1963. He had a studio at Butler's Wharf, London, in the 1970s. He was a film director, stage designer, diarist, artist, gardener and author. Jarman was outspoken about homosexuality, his public fight for gay rights, and his personal struggle with AIDS.