WHAT LIES BENEATH...
Series of 4”x 6” lenticular postcards, mail correspondence
In the subtle progression of flora that marks the seasons of North Florida, the small spikes of delicate betony flowers that dot suburban lawns, herald spring. Many in their quest for the perfectly manicured lawn view Florida Betony (Stachy Floridana) as a stubborn turf pest due to its rhizomatic root structure of white bulbous and segmented tubers resembling the tail of a rattlesnake, hence its other moniker—Rattlesnake Weed. Still others consider betony’s edible tubers delicious in salads, pickles and stir-fry and as a potential source of semi-digestible sugar that promotes friendly gut bacteria and inhibits harmful pathogens that cause pneumonia and vaginal infections.
The network of roots that characterize betony’s penchant for subterraneous growth inspired me to contact Floridians (scientists, native plant specialists, healers, cooperative extension agents) who have a professional relationship with Stachy Floridana) inviting them to share their perspective via postcard correspondence. These lenticular flip postcards evidence a conversation about our cultural relationship with this ubiquitous crop/weed/native plant, inviting the audience to ponder the nature beneath our feet as we walk across our lawns on the way to the mailbox.