Local plant lovers, history buffs and alternative medicine aficionados will meet a kindred spirit at Philadelphia native MF Cardamone’s original mixed media show, Florida Fantastica!
Cardamone is inspired by pressed botanical specimens found in academic labs and natural history museums. She whimsically records the life histories of plants by combining specimens with images and words that playfully modernize the traditions of specimen mounting and botanical illustration. The result is complex visual narratives that reveal the science, history and beauty of their subjects. Her mixed media work on paper is partially hand drawn using gouache, colored pencil, inks and digital imagery.
A collaboration with Selby intrigued Cardamone in several ways. Not only do they share an interest in education and preservation, but like Selby, Cardamone strives to express the connections between plants and people. She developed a list of plants with Perales, Botany Director Bruce Holst and Horticulture Director Mike McLaughlin representing both Selby Gardens and Florida. Last January she traveled to Selby Gardens to collect specimens then returned to her studio to delve further into each plant’s life history, ecology, medicinal, folklore, wildlife value and uses : both historical and contemporary.