Hazel by Emi Gordon

Hazel by Emi Gordon



This carving in Cumbrian green slate, by Emi Gordon, celebrates the word ‘Hazel’, and was created as part of our exhibition ‘The Lost Words - Forget-me-not.’ For this exhibition artists have created a permanent record of the natural words removed from the Oxford Junior Dictionary. Size:  21 x 34cm



Temperate shrub or small tree with broad leaves, bearing prominent male catkins in spring and round hard-shelled edible nuts in autumn.

Genus Corylus, family Betulaceae: several species, in particular the common Eurasian hazel (C. avellana)


ORIGIN: Old English hæsel, of Germanic Origin; related to Dutch hazelaar ‘hazel tree’, hazelnoot ‘hazelnut’, and German Hasel, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin corylus.

It is so sad to see that some words which have been associated with the British countryside for a long time are disappearing from the Oxford Junior Dictionary.  In recent years, our daily life has changed so that children might be far distant from the nature which all these words represent. The flora and fauna themselves are not disappearing from nature – yet.  I want to give people who come to see this exhibition a chance to think about those words.

HAZEL: It is such a useful plant for humans.  We can eat the nuts and have been using it as a material for making wattle, fencing, baskets and the frames of boats.  It features in European mythology and folklore, showing that people have known and loved this plant for a long time.  

I would like to show hazel’s characteristic nature as a material for weaving in my work.  Introducing a very tight spacing between letters creates an impression of the letters interlacing as if they are woven.

The letters are painted the colour of a hazelnut.

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