Ep. 24: Saga Mariah Flora - Illustrating Biology & Sweden's Enchanting Mushrooms (feat. Saga Mariah Sandberg)
Today on Mushroom Hour we are excited to interview Saga Mariah Sandberg. Saga Mariah is an accomplished artist whose work focuses on mushrooms and other natural subjects. Her work has been described as authentic, beguiling, captivating and, perhaps above all, a beautifully curated celebration of Sweden’s natural systems.
In this first part of our two-part interview, we travel to the beautiful Varmland region of Sweden, the land that our artist Saga Mariah calls home. We'll experience life on her family's farm through the curious & rebellious eyes of young Saga. This wild environment and her bold nature as a child led young Saga to develop a lifelong fascination with insects, plants, animals and of course fungi!
We'll venture deep into the woods and explore ancestral mushroom forage grounds that have been passed down from generation to generation - sometimes for hundreds of years. Like the forage patches themselves, Saga's mother passed down her knowledge of foraging to Saga when she was old enough to walk! This type of fungi hunting lineage is found throughout Sweden and it helps us understand how deeply ingrained foraging is in the culture. But how did an ancient cultural fear of all mushrooms eventually transition into such an intimate relationship with them?
Throughout the enchanting, winding paths of our conversation, we witness Saga's development as an artist. As a child discovering her natural talents, to her first art exhibit at 11 years old, through an academic career in design to her current work as a freelance illustrator and designer, she has blazed her own trail. She now produces amazing works rendering wild mushrooms and ecological biotopes with a captivating, "saturated" style that is all her own. We'll see her mission to educate with her ecological art come full circle as her works are showcased in Sweden's most well-known natural history museum. How does an artist find their own voice in both the composition, production and distribution of their art?
Thanks for listening and Mush Love!
Directed, Recorded, Produced by: Mushroom Hour
Music by: Ancient Baby (https://peckthetowncrier.bandcamp.com/)
Art by: Wyn Di Stefano (http://www.wyndistefano.com/)
Saga-Mariah's Art & Illustration Website: https://www.sagamariah.se/
Saga-Mariah IG: https://www.instagram.com/sagamariah_floral/
Violet Cortinarius: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortinarius_violaceus
Varmland, Sweden: https://www.visitvarmland.se/en