The Lost Words - forget-me-not is an exhibition showing until 26 May at The Lettering Arts Trust in Snape, Suffolk. Curated by Lynne Alexander, the exhibition is inspired by The Lost Words: A Spell Book, by Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris. The Oxford Junior Dictionary has dropped about fifty words from nature such as acorn, bluebell and otter. They have been usurped by words like blog, broadband, cut-and-paste.
The Lost Words: A Spell Book brings twenty lost words back to life in word and paint. The book is a huge success and is finding its way into schools. At Snape, The Lost Words - forget-me-not is a response to the book by artists who carve stone, wood and glass, recording forever, in these materials derived from the natural world, the words regarded as redundant by the Oxford Junior Dictionary, a reflection of how childhood is changing.
Human beings have become disconnected from the natural world, with apparently little awareness of our part in the ecosystem. Every day, we hear shocking accounts of how we destroy and trample all over the planet, whether through deforestation, pollution, plastic in the oceans, the disagreeable ways in which food is produced, and much else. Wildlife is in free fall, and human beings are responsible. At last these issues are coming to the fore and the new report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) with ominous warnings and calls for change has been widely publicised.
Keeping old skills alive is as important as cherishing old words. The Garden Gallery is an enthusiastic supporter of the work of the Lettering Arts Trust, and the artists who carve beauty and meaning into stone, wood and glass. The Trust’s Journeyman Scheme provides advanced training for letter carvers to continue developing their practice, perpetuating and growing the craft of lettering. In The Garden Gallery’s summer exhibition this year a number of letter carvers will be exhibiting their beautiful work. Come and see it, and support this essential skill.
Click on Exhibitions for more about the gallery’s 25th anniversary exhibition.
Contact the Lettering Arts Trust for a catalogue of The Lost Words - forget-me-not
Image: Tread Softly by Eric Marland (Egyptian limestone, available at The Garden Gallery)