Feather, Leaf, Bark & Stone

By Jackie Morris

A pillow book of poems, dreams & stories typed on sheets of gold leaf.

Thursday, 24 September 2020


This time last year I was in Dulverton. My dad had just come out of hospital, but was frail. I was about to do an event with Number Seven to launch The House Without Windows. I was tired, worried, and had one painting left to do for The Unwinding

Back in Dulverton again, because I was supposed to be doing an event with Robert Macfarlane in Dunster, for The Lost Spells, because I wanted to round off this year in which I have published a few books, begun writing another, painted and experienced loss, and love. Never forget that also there has been love. I watch the daylight stealing the dark, listen to the birds waking.

Next week The Lost Spells flies out into the world. I wanted to be in Dulverton before then. It seems the pattern of my life should move in this way. So I have signed a stack of books for Chris and Davina, including The Lost Spells which has a lovely fox stamp in the Dulverton editions, and The Song of the Golden Hare, brought back into print by Unbound.

In the time I have been working with them Chris and Davina have made beautiful films of my visits. So when Penguin needed films to help The Lost Spells to take flight I asked if Chris might make them. It's hard these days to talk about the books, and the idea of inviting strangers into my studio to film didn't seem right, and Chris and Davina know the work so well. They've made three short pieces which I hope will be aired soon. Chris is also responsible for The Space Between Film that heads this book.

There are some new rewards available for supporting the book. I took some of the leaves of gold to Alex to be scanned and asked him to make prints for me. The scans are so Alison can have a play and production can see what might be possible, but I also had small and larger prints made.

Above are the small prints, at actual size of the leaf- (8cms square image size), below are the larger, mounted and wrapped, (24 x24cms image size) and there's a peace about them I like. I like the marks and scratches and the shape of the type.

It's been a while since I have written for The Space Between. Hard to find the space and the peace of mind to hunt words. I miss the scent of typewriters, and even though this is supposed to be a holiday I have brought two with me. I have been painting and signing prints and books. Playing with ink has been good. Loving the botanical inks of Flora Wallace. I need to play more. It strengthens the learning and skill and broadens the language I can use in my work. 

And speaking of playing, there's something rather wonderful coming soon. A Lost Words card game.

I've always loved cards, and these have been beautifully designed by Alison O'Toole. And card games, in this digital age, well, rather wonderful. You can play it very simply, and you can speak aloud the spells if you wish as you make up pairs with word and with image. I'm thinking of giving my framer a nightmare and asking him to frame a pack for me. The backs are beautiful, and I love the 'wild card'. A truly wild card that carries a story of The King of the Birds in its image.

The cards should be available through teh usual places hat sell my books. I know Kenilworth Books will have them soon and I think they launch on 5th October. 

It's light here now. The garden is full with birds, bluetits, greattits, long-tailed and coaltits, tree creepers and chaffinch, blackbird and so very many pheasants. I need to walk, find a river, sit, listen, find words and the path through thoughts.

I'm also reading, which is wonderful. At the moment the book that is my companion is The Wild Silence by Raynor Winn. I am not sure I have ever cried so much when reading a book, but that is a good thing. It's beautiful. So beautiful. It's a love story, a biography, it's about the wild, it's a book that fills the soul. It's open, honest and brilliant. 


And before I sign off, there is also this, below. A film crew, in my studio- note the rather glorious web of a house spider over Rachael's head.


Don't forget I also blog on my website. I will try to let people know when the film will be shown.

Thank you for reading this x.





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