Web of life inspires Appleton

Beth Appleton

Beth Appleton

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 02:21 PM.

A Christmas gift has inspired island artist Beth Appleton to create a new body of work.

On Friday, Feb. 8, Appleton premiered an exhibit of her latest creations at the Apalachicola Museum of Art located at 96 5th Street.

The exhibit includes both her familiar cut paper confections and a new medium depicting the microorganisms in Apalachicola Bay.

 “I got a microscope for Christmas three years ago and that’s where it started,” Appleton said. “I was always fascinated by all the tiny creatures as a kid but then I got away from it. When I got back into it, it just took me away.”

This rebirth of interest led to the creation of “micro waterscapes” featuring the images of plankton from our bay. The waterscapes are photographs. The original image exists only as a file on Appleton’s computer. The images on display are all prints.

“I look under the microscope and piece together literally hundreds of photographs of tiny plants and animals magnified 1600 times. I have to say it took about two months to do a single assemblage,” said Appleton. “About 200 photos go into one. Nothing I do is simple. I was hoping I could simplify in my older age.”

At the reception, biologist Megan Lamb from the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research was on hand with a microscope to let visitors view the original miniscule life forms depicted on Appleton’s canvases. Visitors were delighted when the tiny organisms danced and wriggled across the screen.

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