Did it impact yours?
The pandemic paused all my shows but it didn’t stop my energy. So like many of you, I looked at my current situation and took advantage of the downtime to pursue some new avenues.
Rather than learning about sourdough or hot yoga, I dove into expressing myself through new artwork. Numerous show guests told me that my fabrics were not only functional but were truly art. I began experimenting with my fabrics, framing individual pieces of fabrics to call attention to the color and pattern interplay that represents my wearables. From there, I began to create collages using my fabric swatches, upcycling the remnants into a new artistic expression.
I have always been concerned with the negative environmental impact caused by the textile and fashion industries. To me, this casts a shadow on two vibrant industries. As an educator, I would address it with my fashion design students, hoping to improve our future through their understanding and actions going forward.
Now I am using my artwork to speak to this issue. My Mother Earth series of triptychs metaphorically illustrate the stages of environmental destruction caused by the fashion and textile industries. Each piece becomes more damaged and disjointed as it shows the past, present and potential future if we do not correct our actions.
I also create individual collages for my Kaleidoscope series by upcycling my handwoven remnants into new collage pieces that are a visual delight of color, pattern and texture.
Other individual wall pieces use my fabrics and leftover warp yarns to address the pollution caused by dyes and chemicals commonly used in these industries. I strive to use sustainable fibers for my fabrics and create heirloom quality wearable art that outlasts normal fashion items. By upcycling my remnants and excess yarns, I am also reducing landfill use. A report from the Ellen Macarthur Foundation reports that every second, one garbage truckload of textiles in landfilled or burned. We need to break this linear cycle and become more circular in our reuse while also creating long-lasting apparel rather than fast fashion.