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In The Open | Elizabeth-Jane Burnett & Rebecca Constance Thomas

Elizabeth-Jane Burnett’s poetry includes: oh-zones (Knives Forks and Spoons), Rivering (Oystercatcher) and Swims (Penned in the Margins, 2017). Criticism includes: A Social Biography of Contemporary Innovative Poetry Communities – The Gift, Poethics and the Wager (New York: Palgrave, 2017), ecocritical and poetics articles in a number of peer-reviewed journals, and reviews for US journal The Constant Critic. She studied English at Oxford (BA Hons) and Royal Holloway, London (MA and PhD), and is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Newman University. She also curates ecopoetics exhibitions, particularly working with the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World (CCANW). Her forthcoming book, A Dictionary of the Soil, is supported by Penguin/Random House’s WriteNow scheme. She has appeared on episodes of BBC Radio 3’s Free Thinking, speaking about soil and reading from her Dictionary, and reading from Swims and discussing wild swimming.


In 2005 Rebecca Constance Thomas completed a Doctorate in Fine Art at the University of East London, having previously studied at St Martins School of Art (1987-1990) and Birkbeck College, University of London, where she completed a postgraduate diploma in Arts Management in 2000.

Rebecca has exhibited her paintings and video works widely, most recently at the Politis Gallery in Nicosia, Cyprus (Against Lethe, 2013) and at the Mile End Art Pavilion, London (The Geographical Self, 2012), East Street Arts, Leeds (Close to Home), and taken part in a range of publicly funded projects and academic conferences throughout the UK and abroad, notably at the Universities of Coventry, Dundee, Leeds and Southampton City Art Gallery.

She is a member of Print to the People, a printmaking co-operative in Norwich, and is currently working on a series of artist’s books.


This screen-printed Art book explores both narrative sequence and mapping. Our collaboration uses mapping as a practical starting point for articulating these fields located in the Devon village of Ide, operating both metaphorically and visually, involving different stages of drawing, writing, performing and imagining.

The print marks originate from drawings while walking in the field. The project involves an exchange of writings and images, working towards the production of this small, concertina-like publication. In this work Elizabeth-Jane’s final text is superimposed over a sequence of my images/marks. The landscape enters in, it folds upon itself like a concertina compressing itself into a flat form. Elizabeth’s text is enmeshed in my colours and signs, or, conversely, her words are thrown across the colours like a net.