Welcome to the Poison Garden by David Salisbury

I have been fascinated with both magic and poison since childhood. They are both mysterious things that have long been maligned by authority, religion, and power-holders in general. Both are alluring, tempting us to taste forbidden nectar that will leave us forever changed. Both can be quite beautiful on the surface, yet hold sinister secrets within. Magic and poison alike can sicken us and offer cures, sometimes all at once. They present this mingled paradox of holiness and profanity that cannot be divided, despite our best attempts. They offer wisdom, but with a cost.

I started growing poisonous plants myself at a young age. Enamored by the pokeroot (Phytolacca americana) and deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) that grew uncontrollably in my North Carolinian back yard, I set out to work with them magically, use them in art, and defend them from the unforgiving weed-whacker and its ambivalent operators.