Call for Participation – Byewords

Nicola Roscoe-Calvert is an artist from Liverpool, currently planning a project to take place over the summer, as part of the Independents Biennial festival programme.

The work is concerned with children’s literacy, specifically in relation to “nature words”. In 2007, the removal of a number of these words from the Oxford Junior Dictionary resulted in a backlash from writers including Margaret Atwood and Robert Macfarlane, who were concerned by what could be seen as an increasing disconnectedness from the natural world. Macfarlane said, “We do not care for what we do not know, and on the whole we do not know what we cannot name.” (

Just a few of those words removed from the dictionary are listed below:

Acorn, beech, blackberry, buttercup, heather, kingfisher, lark, minnow, otter, primrose, stoat, willow, wren…

Nicola is inviting individuals or groups to respond to this in one of two ways:

1. By creating artwork(s) highlighting one or more of these “lost words”. This could take any form: a simple poster, a mixed media piece made from natural materials, a photographic trail, a sculptural installation…whatever works for you! If possible, work should then be displayed publicly along with the hashtag #byewords, however where this is not possible a photo-only submission to the project can be made.

2. By ‘hosting’ a spray-chalked word and #byewords hashtag on the outside of your business or community centre (created by the artist). Spray-chalk will fade over time, so you will not be committing to a permanent artwork.

You do not need any arts background or experience to take part, and the project is not limited to those based in Liverpool.

If this is something you would be interested in, please email with any questions, and to discuss how you would like to be involved.

To see Nicola’s previous work please visit