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Pulling someone's tail
Ceramic, 13" x 11" x 8"
Kicki Masthem
I have always been interested in the gesture of the human form. It informs my work in its silent, non-conforming language. In this body of work I am playing with the knowledge of my non-native language, English. Having grown up in Sweden and travelled extensively in Europe I have experienced how body language can be ever so powerful and tied to its culture.

Here, the intricate knowledge of a non-native language comes to fruition. The aphorisms, idioms and prepositions of a phrase will take on a more literal meaning and poke fun at the junction. I still remember a little blue book I had to memorize in grade school: whether it was "on the table", "by the table", "at the table" or where ever - it was so difficult. Just to clarify, the literal translation of the Swedish phrase " det är inget vidare väder I skärgården" ( "the weather in the archipelago is so-so" )into English reads " there's no further weather in the pinkyard". Ha!

I hope the viewer comes away with not only a smile but also an appreciation of how language is not just words strung together but deeply seated in the culture, and how many hoops a foreigner has to jump through, or how many bridges have to be crossed before you can call yourself fluent.

Better mind your P's and Q's while you are at it.