Mother Earth: Descending into Chaos addresses issues that are close to my heart. I use my artistic voice as a platform for speaking to the current times while providing beautiful art for someone’s home or business. My original handwoven fabrics become metaphors that address the environmental damage from the textile and fashion industries. These industries destroy waterways throughout the world, and leave individuals without clean drinking water while causing physical ailments. “70% of the rivers and lakes in China are contaminated by the 2.5 billion gallons of wastewater produced by the textile industry”1. And that is just one of the affected countries.
Clothes are an everyday necessity, but the industry’s current take-make-dispose model is the root cause of many environmental impacts. For example, every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned.2 Between 2000 and 2014, clothing production doubled with the average consumer buying 60 percent more pieces of garment compared to 15 years ago. Yet, each clothing item is now kept half as long.3
The Mother Earth series takes viewers through the stages the world has traversed. In Mother Earth: Descending into Chaos, we start with the pristine piece on the left, representing where the planet was in the early 20th century. Then we migrate to the final piece on the right, representing the foreseeable future if we do not change our current practices.
My handwoven fabrics take an extensive amount of time to design and weave. When I create my textile wall art by cutting into them, it is both scary and painful. That is exactly how I feel when I consider the damage being done to our planet.
1 Kathryn Webber, “How Fast Fashion is Killing Rivers Worldwide”, EcoWatch, EcoWatch, March 22, 2017.
2: 2017, Ellen MacArthur Foundation report