Title: See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil
Dimensions: width: 14cm, height: 74cm, depth: 6cm
Notes: jeans, felt, cotton, pins, nail
Emma Niemis is the 16 year old daughter of London based artist Renato Niemis who is a previous exhibitor at Passion for Freedom. Emma is currently working towards her ‘A’ level art qualification. She was moved by the work in last year’s Passion for Freedom show and is inspired by people who try to make a difference, to speak out and to educate. Emma is part of a project going to Ecuador in July 2014 to work with a rural community in the Amazon rainforest. Previous projects have included building a school, basic drainage and a well. She is raising £2,500 and will put proceeds of the sale of her work towards this.
Emma’s work uses puppetry as a starting point exploring the implied use of direct and indirect control and the ways people are abused by external forces: from global corporations and governments to violence and persecution in all its many varied forms. She is influenced by the different ways force is used against women, children, the poor and those who don’t have a voice in today’s world. In her piece ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ the figures are limp and powerless, their limbs dangling and frayed, left to rot, a symbol of oppression, a lesson to be learnt. The work attacks how we are afraid or too apathetic to speak out against injustice, controlled by fear and turning a blind eye to people being persecuted. The labels societies pin on people, may it be colour, race or religion, trapping the individual and us into positions of opposition, allowing the justification of violence and persecution. On another level the denim fabric evokes sweatshop garment factories with the capitalist corporations bullying with their buying power, blind and deaf to the conditions of the poor who cannot speak up.