Melanie Walker: Mis-Understood, 1990
From the series: Mis-Nomer Pageant
January 9, 2019
"When I was growing up, my sister and I were encouraged to be curious about words and their origins. More often than not we had a dictionary or the encyclopedia at the ready. When faced with a creative challenge we would start by looking up a word and its etymology. As a family we played with words and frequently my mother and sister would be subjected to my father and I having punning contests. It was sheer punishment.
There were many times when my sister or I would come home from school with a story about how someone had not understood our use of a word and our father would say, "Congratulations, it's MISUNDERSTOOD 1964!!!" We would groan and then break out into fits of laughter.
Many years later I began thinking about how the prefix mis- means wrong or incorrect and as unmarried women we are called Miss followed by the father's name. Yes, it is spelled differently and has a slightly different meaning but it seemed to me there were implications..."
-From a musing on language by Melanie Walke"
Melanie's self-portraits are featured in
GRACE: Gender - Race - Identity