Shhh, Say Nothing

This series works to expose the often tedious labor that must be done (often by women) or the scaffolding of society as we know it will fall apart.

One day, while opening a basic security envelope, my brain upended. What is hiding? Who is hiding? Why the silence? Questioning myself first, and societal norms second, I source material for painting. I wonder about the stories we tell ourselves and, importantly, the stories that never get told. Why is mundane, repetitive, unnoticed, and underappreciated labor of women often unpaid or underpaid? How has this been covered up securely for so long? Why do we say nothing? Why is what we do say not heard?

Let’s tear open the security envelopes—representing societal norms—and expose the patterns.

I don’t know about you but,

I no longer wish to shut my mouth.
I know that what I think and feel is not nothing.

I am creating Shhh, Say Nothing as a visual narrative of and for people who have been asked to hold their/our tongue and …say nothing, for a lifetime and for centuries…

…Shhh, Say Nothing is a series of work that includes paintings, drawings and collage.

In this new series I combine faces or characters, household objects that are seen or implied, and flat areas of color juxtaposed with repeat painted patterns. The deliberate creation of detailed patterns represents repetitive labor that goes under-appreciated and often unpaid and harks to the handy work of women. My initial inspiration came from the insides of security envelopes, a product that is meant as protection for the contents within while in actuality is designed to obliterate the messages inside.

Security envelopes are taken for granted. They do their job of hiding critical information. I turn them and the idea of them inside out. In so doing I question the function of the product—and by extension, since the envelopes represent society at large, I question the function of societal norms that silence many.

The Shhh, Say Nothing series of paintings thoughtfully represent my visual voice though vivid colors, closed mouths and/or covered senses, and references to domestic labor.

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