• Christopher Jelley

The Lost Spells - films

As with many during lock down, the pace of works seemed to accelerate, but not in the direction I had expected. As they say, as one door closes, another opens, and for me this has been quite true. Our family shop, Seven Fables | Number Seven Dulverton has moved far more central to my commitments since the pandemic. Only it is busier and more rewarding than ever before, there was a moment in March when we thought all our hard work there had evaporated, along with half the planet, after 18 years of hard work.


But in parallel to the shop, we (thats Davina and myself) were commissioned to make three films for the launch of the The Lost Words sister book The Lost Spells. Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris collaborated again to put a further 20 spells together and they needed some extra content for the international Zoom launch event on 1st October.


The first is The Preface, filmed in Somerset, Pembrokeshire and Cambridgeshire in the gap between lock downs when things were still far from normal.

This is Red Fox, again filmed in parallel to the above with audio by Jackie which we recorded on her kitchen table with and audience of watching cats!

And finally Moth, the main stars of which (the moths) came to grace me one balmy summer night in Dunster, on Exmoor. I had set up a bright lamp just feet above my sleeping wife and son and spent a great few hours stepping into the magical hidden realm of dancing moths.

And since then there have been a further two films, the first commissioned for Hay Winter festival, the Silver Birch Spell which is due to premier on the 26th November with Jackie and Robert. The festival is free to attend though donations are welcome. It's also partly commissioned by House of Anansi North America, who are the Penguin people 'over the pond' so to speak, so the film should get a little bit of US coverage too.


The final film in this series (currently!) is The Beech Spell with Cosmo Sheldrake, but more about that another time as that is still top secret!


So, creatively speaking my practice has changed quite a lot over the last six months, social distancing and restricted workshop numbers have meant my regular school workshops have been placed on the back burner. But no doubt they will be back on line in no time, and in the mean time I have Seven Fables - Number Seven Dulverton as well as The England Coast Path Storywalks to keep me busy.

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