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Yelena Zhavoronkova : The Burn Series


The Valley Fire swept the southern Lake County in mid-September, living 5 people dead, thousand houses burned and the countless families misplaced.

When I started working on my “Seeds” series last year, I was recording the nature survivors by creating the portraits of beautiful species, populated the area. The images are quiet, subdued and peaceful.

But this year brought even more drought, which cause one huge fire after another, and then, the final, the Valley Fire. Nobody expected that the fire could move that fast, nobody was warned or prepared. The heat from the flames was creating it’s own climate with unpredictable winds; the smog and the debris were flying all over; the ambers were igniting everything on their’s way. Communities had to evacuate immediately, leaving behind belongings, pets, stock. People were jumping out of the burning cars and leaving them on the roads to burn down. I was right in the middle of all this craziness and can confirm the terror we all experienced. The real terror, created by the mother nature, had overpowered us humans in just a couple of hours.

My new series of works, “The Burn”, is dedicated to these tragic events. It consist of the “portraits” of the plants which went through the fire, but survived, caring the burns on their branches and leaves.

Yelena Zhavoronkova 

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