When the Oxford Junior Dictionary began cutting many nature-themed words five years ago...meaning children would no longer find such words in the dictionary... controversy erupted. Combining visual art, text, and audio, Remembering: Lost Words contemplates our changing world and perceptions as we begin losing once-familiar words and disconnecting from nature. This work highlights some of the “lost” botanical words.
Audio technical assistance by Ksenia Makagonova
Anita Miettunen is a Vancouver-based writer and illustrator who loves exploring the natural world.
How is a painting of a flower different from a flower? In mediating the image of an organism, the artist creates a distance from the physical thing itself. This distance creates space for meaning to be read into the deliberate placement of every line. The combination of subjects holds value, as does the selection of media, colour, and scale. An image is a symbol, what does it mean to you?
To record patterns of light through mechanical means seems impartial, but a multitude of decisions go into the construction of a photographic image.
A photograph may be so specific that they can serve as a digital collection record of where and when an organism occurs. Or a photograph can be as abstract and evocative as any work of art. What does each photograph tell you?
Drawing an organism to record what it is, and how it is different from similar forms is an ancient practice and one that is still used today. Drawing allows for characteristics to be isolated, emphasized, and compared clearly and simply. To name and describe species in accordance with international conventions is the science of taxonomy. What do you think is emphasized in these drawings that a photograph might not reveal?
The natural world has been a source of inspiration for artists since the earliest works of art. People will always read living forms into abstract shapes, and spin stories from a single image. Nature will always be the refuge, the adversary, the trickster, the mother, the self. Humanity needs intact ecosystems for many reasons, and not least as a space for our collective imaginations to escape, to remember our role as one species among many on a planet filled with wonder. What inspires you?
Grief Over Covid-19
American Wigeon (Mareca americana) and Otter (Lutra canadensis)
Bouquet of Genes
Salal, Nurse Logs, and a Million Other Microcosms
Stromatolite and Cyanobacteria
Beauty on the Brink
The Bees and the Moths
Proclaiming Ownership of the Hazelnut Bush
Hope for Burrowing Owls
Life Lessons from the Odd and Ancient
La Luz de Tus Ojos
Jumping Spider Illustrations, 1974-2020
Elephants and a Bird in a Forest
Capturing Equitable Patterns in Nature
A View of the Forest, Ecuador
Colours of the Swamp Guppy
Wouter van der Bijl
Arctic Flowering Plant Diversity
Strawberry Poison Frog Tadpole Development
A Giant Green Anemone Fucus Vase
Escaping Landwards from a Too Curious Snorkeler
A Colourful Cicadellid
Urn for Coral Reefs
Sea Silk Waves
Trickery of Wing
Guardian of the Ocean
REMEMBERING: LOST WORDS
HUTS 2020 - Sunflowers are the Best System
Natural Affinities I - IV
The Great Unknown