Everglades Field Guide From Reality To Memory
Explore the landscape with artist Deborah Mitchell
Everglades Field Guide From Reality to Memory, explores the landscape in creative ways which can redefine our perception of the wilderness.
Within three seconds, the beast had vanished. Sensing its menacing presence, the anhingas and herons took flight across the water as it leapt from the shoreline into the woods. I turned to my husband, speechless, to verify that he too had witnessed the tawny blur and distinctive long tail. We had finally seen a Florida panther, one of North America’s rarest and most endangered species, in this vastly compromised landscape known as the Everglades. The unusual sighting seemed to confirm that this creature and its kind would never fully recover its original population, due to the devastation of crucial Florida habitat. Little did I know that my journey towards understanding this fragile territory was just beginning.
This book, which pairs my journal entries with photographs and artworks that span a decade of observation, is an impressionist memoir of Marjory Stoneman Douglas’s The Everglades: River of Grass. The images convey both real and imagined scenes—visual narratives that emphasize a sense of place and memory while referencing the cultural history of an imperiled ecosystem. It is my hope that this multidisciplinary approach to understanding the Everglades may transform the way we see and remember landscapes.
The Everglades is a singular, challenged landscape that offers bountiful resources; among them, a place for reflection. The region is broadly defined as starting north of the Kissimmee River, where water flows slowly over wetlands, through interconnecting prairies and hammocks southward to the coastal lowlands of the Florida Bay.
Presented in a cardboard box, the book consists of 142 color pages of visual art projects including paintings, photographs, journal entries and archival images from the South Florida Collections Management Center and photographs taken at Archbold Biological Station. The strategic goal is to inspire the public to reconsider the environment while also illuminating the region’s collective heritage through art, history, science, and culture.