How Upcycling Connects This Venezuelan Artist To Her Roots

Introducing HERitage, a film series in partnership with Estée Lauder's NEW Advanced Night Repair serum that explores how women across generations declare their self-worth through self-care. Below, visual artist María Elena Pombo shares how working with recycled materials connects back to her Venezuelan roots.
To you, it's an avocado. To visual artist María Elena Pombo (who works under the name Fragmentario), it's raw material for her next work of art. "I like using [avocado pits] to create natural dyes for fabrics and sculptural pieces," she says. "There is a connection to my family home in Venezuela and the avocado tree from our backyard. I can’t hold an avocado without thinking of home."
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Growing up, Pombo was deeply inspired by the women in her family. "My mother is an architect and my grandmothers were a seamstress and a school teacher. Through their own work, they gained a unique appreciation for beauty," she says. "To them, beauty had everything to do with who you are as a person, and what you can do with your own two hands." 
Her Venezuelan roots not only influenced her artistic practice, but her skin-care choices, as well. "Whenever anyone we knew in Venezuela would travel to the U.S., my mother and my grandmother would ask them to bring back Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair for them." Today, Pombo uses Estée Lauder's NEW Advanced Night Repair serum, a new-and-improved take on the cult-classic original, in her own routine as tribute.
"I think of them and the heritage I carry with me every day when I do the work that I do, and when I use the same products they did to take care of my skin," she says. Learn more about her story by watching the video, above.
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