From the The Lost Words Book.
Giclee print with hand applied Gold Leaf and handwritten spell quotation by Robert MacFarlane
Signed by Jackie Morris and Robert MacFarlane
Collect from gallery £575
Including UK delivery £600
Including mount 65 x 51 cm
Image 38 x 28 cm
Jackie was born in Birmingham in 1961. Her family moved to Evesham when she was four. As a child she was told that she couldn’t be an artist, but despite this information being drilled into her by teachers she decided to throw caution to the wind and learn to paint.
“Here I grew up and remember little of those times. I do know that from at least the age of six I wanted to be an artist. I watched my dad drawing a picture of a lapwing, making a bird appear on a piece of paper using only a pencil, and I thought it was some magic that made this happen. So there and then I decided to learn how to conjure birds from paper and colour.”
She found success at the Bath Academy of Art. On leaving college she found work in editorial, illustrating magazines like Radio Times, New Statesman, New Society and Country Living. She worked for years illustrating books and in 2016, she was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway Medal for Something About a Bear. The book includes her water colours of different types of bear. She lives in a small house by the sea in Wales, painting and writing and dreaming and proving her teachers wrong. But, all said and done there are times when she would rather have followed her first ambition, which was to be a bear.
These limited edition prints from The Lost Words book combine meticulous wordcraft with exquisite illustrations which deftly restores language describing the natural world to the children’s lexicon.
In 2007, the new edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary introduced new words such as “broadband” while others, describing the natural world, disappeared. The dictionary’s guidelines require that it reflect “the current frequency of words in daily language of children”. However, the philosopher AJ Ayer introduced a generation to the notion that unless we have a word for something, we are unable to conceive of it, and that there is a direct relationship between our imagination, our ability to have ideas about things, and our vocabulary. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a groundswell of opposition to the word cull began to grow and, in 2015, the debate reached a tipping point when an open letter to the OJD, coordinated by the naturalist Laurence Rose, was signed by artists and writers including Margaret Atwood, Sara Maitland, Michael Morpurgo and Andrew Motion along with the brilliant illustrator Jackie Morris and the hugely acclaimed wordsmith, word collector, and defender of the natural world, Robert Macfarlane. “There is a shocking, proven connection between the decline in natural play and the decline in children’s wellbeing,” the letter said. A heated debate in the national press ensued, both for and against the lost words, and the collaboration between Morris and Macfarlane was born.