Her pieces are borne amidst a pile of dying embers and utter loss. And sometimes it still smells like devastation.
Cara Despain focuses her artwork on climate change and the effects of wildfires on the environment. She’s seen homes, including those in Paradise, California, reduced to ash and burnt to the ground.
“Some of these are from extremely catastrophic fires, ” she said. “It is horrifying.”
Despain carefully picks through the refuse, gathers the vestiges from these events and then transforms them into something entirely new.
“I’ve been collecting debris from fires in the western US. California, Colorado and Utah,” explained Despain. “I go directly to these sites and collect debris and I use it to saturate the canvas with pure carbon.”