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Explore the relationship between language and the living world in this exhibition of poetry and illustration.

A unique collaborative project between writer Robert Macfarlane and artist and author Jackie Morris, The Lost Words is a response to the pair’s belief that nature is in retreat from children’s stories and imaginations. The exhibition showcases a new series of 20 acrostic poems, or 'spells', by Macfarlane, and iridescent watercolours by Morris that conjure the beauty of nature.

The impetus for the exhibition comes from findings such as those of a 2002 Cambridge University survey which discovered that British schoolchildren were able to identify Pokémon far more accurately than species of common UK wildlife (and later, a 2008 National Trust survey which found that only a third of primary age children could identify a magpie, though nine out of ten could name a Dalek). The Lost Words aims to summon a ‘vanishing wildness’ back into existence.

The Foundling Museum

40 Brunswick Square, London, Greater London, WC1N 1AZ

020 7841 3600


Opening times

Tue – Sat, 10am – 5pm Sun, 11am – 5pm

Free entry with National Art Pass

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