26 Habitats

Drawing for writing...

In an enormous project over the Summer, I’ve been sketching for 26 Habitats.

26 is a not-for-profit organisation for writers and anyone who believes in the power of words. Many of its members work with words for a living – as business writers, authors, journalists, communication specialists, poets and designers – but it welcomes anyone who cares about words and writing.

In 2020, 26 partnered with The Wildlife Trusts for a project called 26 Wild. Its members wrote about endangered species in the UK and it became clear to them that most of the problems with vulnerable wildlife were caused by human degradation of natural realms and habitats.

So they agreed that habitats should be the focus for 2021’s project. The Wildlife Trusts selected habitats distinctive to the UK. 26 writers visited one of the habitats and penned a poem of exactly 100 words, called a centena, and an essay.

Those locations I could get to, I visited with a sketchbook. For other locations, I asked writers to send me their photos of the habitats that they visited, so that I could see what they saw.

26 Pledges will follow in October, with 28 more writers digging deeper into the issues raised by 26 Habitats and making personal pledges of individual actions.

Meanwhile on the other side of the world, 26’s chapter of writers in New Zealand embarked on a similar project, based on the habitats that are crucial for them, in partnership with New Zealand organisation Forest & Bird. Each writer has worked with a different artist.

Read 26’s Q&A here, where Philip Parker interviews me about my work for the project.