top of page
  • Writer's pictureChristopher Jelley

Kenilworth Arts Festival 2018

Last week I was invited to be part of the Kenilworth Arts Festival and deliver two days of The Lost Words Storywalks trails in partnership with Kenilworth Books.

The trail I created had ten of the twenty spell poems from Jackie Morris' and Robert Macfarlane's book and was originally developed to support its launch nearly a year ago at Compton Verney gallery, Warwickshire.

Initially I created two trails, each with five spell poems, the first of which was called 'flighty' and the second 'rooty', titled to celebrate the animals and plants predisposition. So otter, raven and newt were in the 'flighty' trail whereas willow, conker and bramble were in the 'rooty' trail.

But for this iteration at Kenilworth Arts Festival I decided to amalgamate both trails and create one superb nature spell trail, and to trigger the spells poems I thought it would be natural to have wands!

The wands really came from solving the practical issue of how I was going to arrive in a park and be able to swiftly install a trail with the least fuss. It also needed to be light and simple for users with minimal hassle plus when removed, leave little or no trace at the end of the day.

They also needed to be hardy (think weather and kids) transportable (not too cumbersome for me to carry) and appropriate to the subject. So it wasn't long before wands or batons seemed to be just the ticket, if you look carefully on the image of the park, hanging from the bench ends are two wands. Here the group has read the keyword etched on the shaft, they've entered it into the iPad which opened the chapter and triggered the spell; they are now reading it aloud to their team.

The weather at the weekend was a little fractious but it didn't get too much in our way, and by the end we'd had four full classes from local schools, plus lots of families too. So it would seem the wands first test in the field worked like a charm, they were much admired and are now stowed ready for the next Lost Words session which hopefully won't be too far away.

If you would like 'The Lost Words trail' in your school, festival or where ever then please get in touch through the contact page.

And one last detail is thankyou to illustrator Jackie Morris and spell author Robert Macfarlane for their fabulous book and permission to develop / deliver these digital trails. Also thanks to Judy and Tamsin at Kenilworth books and Lewis for the arts festival.

The Lost Words is published by Hamish Hamilton and is available from Kenilworth Books and Number Seven Dulverton the latter with a special Jackie Morris wren stamped inside exclusive to Number Seven.


contact - get in touch for Storywalks trails

Number Seven Dulverton - fabulous gallery and bookshop in Dulverton, Exmoor.

Kenilworth Books - amazing bookshop in Kenilworth

Kenilworth Arts Festival - Festival site

bottom of page