Arts Degree Show2016

Abigail Slack

How do you think about something that you don't have a word for? The habits of mind that our native language instills in us shape how we perceive the world.

My work is concerned with the idea of 'untranslatability' between languages, and how certain concepts - even those we would consider basic, such as time and space - which do not exist in other cultures can have an effect on communication. I use the written word to express how the quirks of language alter our understanding.

Part of this work also looks at the complexity of the English language in particular. As native English speakers we are privileged to already know a language that others have to struggle to learn, something I only began to appreciate after trying to teach my own language and being unable to answer half of the questions. English has borrowed from so many languages that the extent of its irregularities now negate the rules we have for learning it.

Just think: I before E except after C. Weird.