Rachel Saldate-Hayes

Take prevention to the next level
Fabric and Mustard Root
14″ x 39″ x 11″

The destruction from California fires increases yearly, reaching tragic proportions in the 2018 Camp Fire. Climate change, nature & people share the blame that fire season is now a 12-month reality. Despite this looming yearly threat, we Californians make daily peace with our idyllic home. We put aside our fears for a day trip & selfies during the Super Bloom. California’s benefits seem to outweigh its own risks. I am curious about the tension in which Californians live with nature. The dichotomies of risk & benefit, life & death, beauty & destruction exist in the black mustard (Brassica nigra) that engulfs the hills with vibrant yellow. Despite its beauty, the National Park Service has labeled black mustard an “invasive, bully, evil” plant. My sculptures explore this fraught relationship we have with the plant. Building materials, textiles, & mustard roots intertwine in tangles that question what/who is invasive, & how we live together with the tension of danger & beauty.