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Saguaro Land: An artist uses invasive plants found at the bottom of a basin

Saguaro Land is a series from The Show looking at the Sonoran Desert — the lushest, hottest desert in the world that happens to be our home.

Artist Rebecca Pipkin works with invasive plants from a basin at South Mountain and transforms them into art. Pipkin boils down the plants into dye and then uses it on textiles she turns into sculpture. Sometimes she also turns the plant fibers into paper, which she also uses in her art.

Pipkin likes to refer to the plants she uses as non-native instead of invasive as what does and what doesn't qualify as an invasive species constantly changes. 

The Show took a trip down to the basin with Pipkin and she estimates she has visited the space roughly 80 to 90 times within the last two years. She doesn't find herself getting bored of the scenery as the basin itself never looks the same twice.

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Mark Brodie is a co-host of The Show, KJZZ’s locally produced news magazine. Since starting at KJZZ in 2002, Brodie has been a host, reporter and producer, including several years covering the Arizona Legislature, based at the Capitol.