by Michelle Alten
Infinite green petals gather around two orange squares and spread in all directions. The petals are blossoms from a euonymus bush or burning bush; the orange squares are overlapping marigold petals. But to the eye, the image appears abstract. I see shapes not flowers; I see people, hundreds maybe thousands, gathered around two towers, celebrating them. The squares recall the peaceful saffron robes of a Buddhist monk; the many petals recall the too many people who lost their lives on 9/11.
Peggy Turner Zablotny, of Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, a town on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, seems to paint with flowers. Working with finely placed petals and botanicals, she has collected and pressed, Peggy creates Lilliputian art. Her botanical collages, she calls actuals, some only 1 ½” squares, are then enlarged with photography to create dramatic fine art prints. Once her miniature works are transformed through photography, they take on a whole new life. Many feel like paintings, though they are not paintings at all. With the veins, textures, and colors of a few or a hundred blossoms she “paints”: some works revealing intricate detail, others powerful simplicity. One may evoke a walk through a field of spring flowers; another flaunts the bold colors and shapes of a Matisse. Still another has the abstract details of a Georgia Okeefe.
We met Peggy and experienced her unusual art at The Field Gallery in West Tisbury on Martha’s Vineyard. The stop at the gallery which exhibits Peggy’s work and pieces by other artists was a highlight of our island visit. Don’t miss it when you go.
When You Go: The Field Gallery is located at 1050 State Rd., West Tisbury. 508-693-5595. For more information visit fieldgallery.com