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Nic Wilson: Learn Spelling


19 June 2021


19 June 2021

Works by

Nic Wilson
Two books lay on a yellow background. One shows the white cover with the words “Learn Spelling” and "Nic Wilson" below a series of red dashed lines across the cover. The other shows the back cover, white with a cluster of small shiny slower and heart stickers.

Nic Wilson: Learn Spelling

About this publication

Named after the menu item that allows you to train your computer to acknowledge certain words, the book uses a collection of unrecognized terms from the artist’s writings as a springboard for a larger investigation into how a living language evolves. Examples in the book, which include queer slang, loan words, Indigenous place and nation names, Arab and Japanese names, as well as terms specific to art theory, reveal a Eurocentric bias in Word Processing applications. They also double as an inadvertent diary of the artist’s writing.

Hand-bound in an edition of 100 copies, the book features a collection of autobiographical anecdotes alongside observations and examples of the way “written English is used as a tool to create and legitimize some world views and negate others.”

This project is a part of Umbrella Projects, a partnership between the Owens Art Gallery and Struts Gallery designed to pool our resources, energies, and respective strengths in order to facilitate off-site, in-print, online, and onscreen programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Order Learn Spelling

About the Artist

Nic Wilson (he/they) is an artist and writer who was born in the Wolastoqiyik territory now known as Fredericton, NB, in 1988. He graduated with a BFA from Mount Allison University, Mi’kmaq territory, in 2012, and an MFA from the University of Regina, Treaty Four Territory, in 2019, where he was a SSHRC graduate fellow. In 2021, they were one of the long-listed nominees from the Prairies and the North for the Sobey Art Award. Their work often engages time, queer lineage, and the distance between art practice and literature. Their writing has appeared in publications such as BlackFlash Magazine, Headlights Anthology, and PUBLIC.