Speech Acts opened at CCAS City last night in difficult (personal) circumstances for Nicci Haynes. No one expected her to attend and, that she did, is testimony to her fortitude as an artists and a human. Nicci suggested that if she was unable to make it we should all wear Nicci masks which Shagsy Shags dutifully made yesterday arvo between downloading pizza gifs. The masks reflect work in a powerful exhibitions that continues to explore Nicci’s fascination with the inadequacy of language. ‘No method of conveying information ever seems adequate to translate my first-hand knowledge of the world into words. For a start’, she explains, ‘language is successive, my experience is not’. Language is her material and her theme, entanglement and contortion, expressed via drawings, photography and video, seem unavoidable. Nicci is a quiet achiever, a local legend who does as she pleases and this results in work of frank sincerity, that audiences respond with participation. The masks as it turned out, added another element to the exhibition as punters covered their faces and mouths, distorting language and identification – even the camera went out in sympathy for an opening which in the circumstances turned out to be amazingly good fun and a show of support from Nicci’s dedicated friends (and fans). *Only people Nicci masks are named. Speech Acts at CCAS City, Canberra City Framing until 21 May.