The Speak No Evil series (of 6 paintings in total) depict children wearing Elizabethan ruff collars higher than we usually see them. Rather than in their usual location worn around the neck, these are placed around the subject’s mouths. This idea derived from the common old saying “children should be seen and not heard” and from the ancient Japanese proverb of the Three Monkeys “See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil.” The paintings in the series all contain another symbolic element (eyes, birds, bugs…etc) to give another layer to the story.
The series hopes to conjure many thoughts and emotions from the viewer. As children our environments and experiences play such a great role in how we develop as adults. We are at the mercy of the adults we are born to and entrust those who come into our lives. Each viewer will bring their own life experiences to the work. But with that, one message I hope comes through is; if you look carefully enough, even without the ability to speak, we can still “hear” what they are saying.