Madeline Lockyer
Cancerous Blooms

Hand-sewn, collaged, dyed fabrics and Goodwill clothing, fiber filler, glycerin soap
80” x 75” x 9”

My art is an extension of the natural world and manmade materials that have become a staple in our lives.

Clothing is, at its core, protection from outdoor elements but has transformed to become a code of one’s identity in society. As a result of clothing and farming industries, algae blooms have begun to take place in our natural freshwater sources, tainting the water and making it unusable.

Ohio, where I live, is home to many cotton processing plants and fabric manufacturers for the textile industry, as well as thousands of farms using fertilizers and raising livestock. Two of the largest runoff wastes from textile production are ammonia and nitrogen, and the leading runoff from the agriculture industry’s fertilizer also is nitrogen. This excess nitrogen leads the algae to multiply rapidly, like a cancer, sucking all of the oxygen and life out of a body of water.

Madeline Lockyer

I bore out holes in children’s clothing as a parallel to the oxygen being taken out of their future water supply. The boring of the holes is significant as I hope to replicate the cyanobacteria or blue-green algae and its circular microscopic shape on a magnified scale. The tiny circles from the clothing have been sewn together to form the crawling cancers, growing outward on the wall, in the shape of the Western basin of Lake Erie, one significant locus of this environmental crisis.

Madeline Lockyer