Saturday 7 April 2012

The first image is part of the Magna Carta, which I saw on my visit to Lincoln Cathedral, the second an inscribed tombstone on the floor of the cathedral. The cathedral also has a library stuffed full of illuminated manuscripts which I didn't have time to see. The effort that writing used to require is still something that intrigues me: in previous eras it was considered a skill which only a select few people could perform. Masons carved letters into stone by hand; monks spent years copying manuscripts with beautiful calligraphy, illuminated letters and illustrations; engravers etched tiny words onto silver chalices and reliquaries.

Now, writing is a basic skill (which is obviously fantastic), and everyone can write whatever they like, as fast as I'm typing now. Something in me, though, still admires the care people used to take when expressing themselves in language - it's probably why I still write all my notes and thoughts by hand, and copy up my work into my 'best handwriting' for my notebooks. (It may also explain the thirty hours I spent using Letraset dry transfers to write poems on the shells of blown eggs in my Art A level.)

I recently found the wealth of learning opportunities at the V&A Museum in London, actually including calligraphy and illumination, handwriting embroidery, and artists' books (all things I've previously been and continue to be obsessed with). I only really found all the extra opportunities after attending my first CreateVoice meeting and picking up all the leaflets I could. We also got a chat and little workshop with portrait photographer Eddie Otchere. I can't wait to see what's in store at the museum as it's one of my favourites in London.

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