First Words, 2000

12.8 x 9 cm

19 laminated full-colour cards held in a plastic slipcase with flower hairband. 40 Deluxe edition.

Edition of 160 to accompany the publication by Gefn Press of Volumes (of Vulnerability)

Lightline Press, 99 Camden Mews London NW1 9BU 
Edition of 160 to accompany the publication by Gefn Press of Volumes (of vulnerability) 

Private Collections.

What are the first words we say and could they have an influence on the rest of our lives?

Albert Einstein was 4. He was eating dinner and exclaimed suddenly ‘ Die Suppe ist zu heiss’ and his parents ‘ Oh Albert you can talk. Why have you never talked before?’ And he said ” Bis jetzt war alles in ordnung.”

Lijn was regaled with the apocryphal anecdotes of famous men’s first words but was unable to uncover even one anecdote relating to famous women until she began her own search for first words.

It is widely believed that most children begin their relationship with language by naming their parents but Lijn has found that many children will try to name anything that interests them. Bird, tree, plane, colour are a few words which she has already collected from mothers. She is equally interested in the sounds made before complete words are pronounced.

Lijn’s plan is to collect 2000 first words: a word for each year since the birth of Christ. The ‘children’ in question can be grownups now as long as their first word is either remembered or documented.