Depicted in a series of landscape illustrations, this book plays a homage to the region I grew up in and serves as a serious reminder to how quickly our beautiful nature is disappearing.
Produced on good quality paper with texture. 210x148mm. €12.
Sometimes we all need a bit of a rude awakening. Vanishing Nature provides just that through its tranquil landscape illustrations interspersed with warnings about what’s happening to nature as a result of our own actions. The realities of climate change can be a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s a necessary one.
The beauty of Jacek Matysiak’s writing is that it doesn’t get caught up too much in the statistics, and the spooky hypotheticals about things that will happen long after this generation is dead. The writer knows that as much as we all care about the world and the future, we care about ourselves more. The illustrations of the impact we’re having on the environment are more solid than that. These are things that are happening right now, changes that have occurred within our lifetimes.
This book doesn’t deal with what will happen if the oil runs out or what will happen if the ozone layer disappears or what the world will look like in 100 years if we don’t stop this. It deals with something easier to picture: a summer with too many flies, less snow in the winter, a lake that’s been poisoned and dredged to destruction in the last 20 years.
And then you have the backgrounds, illustrations and designs. Each double-page spread is another beautiful scene of a meadow, a forest, a marsh or a lake. The animals in the images are just going about their business, as they should be able to do. And there’s the odd house, church and fence here and there, because the message isn’t that people are bad and evil and the world will never be good with us here. The message is that we can do better, that we must do better. The booklet acts as an advertisement for being a decent, environmentally conscious human being.
Vanishing Nature is a gorgeous little book, easily one of the loveliest items at the Belfast Zine Market. The contents are attractive and informative, but the book as an object is just as pleasurable as the book as a reading experience. It’s printed in rich, eye-catching colours and on strong textured paper. It’s the sort of book I’d give my mam.
You can get a copy of Vanishing Nature from Jacek Matysiak through their Etsy store, TheOrangeNestShop.
Review by T.J. Buckley 🐝x