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Virginia Fleck Mandala Art

Our evironmentalist blogger with an eye for beauty, Pelf Nyok, has dropped by to introduce her latest find — an American artist who creates huge mandala wall pieces with other people’s throwaway plastic bags. The works are both colourful and green! ~ Jen

Plastic Artworks

this is Pelf A lot of things are being said about China’s recent announcement to ban the manufacture, sale, and use of plastic bags under 0.025 mm thick and to prohibit supermarkets and shops nationwide from handing out the sacks for free from June 1st.

And, apparently, Australia’s government also said recently that it hoped to phase out the use of plastic bags from the nation’s shopping centres by the end of the year.

With all the hoo-haas around the excessive use of plastic bags, it is heartening to learn that there are people who turn these plastic bags into beautiful art pieces!

Virginia Fleck began making artwork when she was a child and she eventually studied at Portland School of Art and The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She has been the recipient of numerous grants and residencies including a fellowship for a residency and exhibition in Havana, Cuba.

Plastic art

My wall-sized mandalas, created from sections of used plastic shopping bags, analyze the activity of consumerism as a spiritual encounter. This visual experience of repetitive designs, indicative of meditative objects and advertising graphics, stimulates the viewer to yearn for more… Our hunger is insatiable; our fervor can be witnessed… Nirvana / paradise is easily obtained and owned…

Virginia Fleck

Her work has been exhibited at Art Forum Berlin, Pulse Miami, Pulse New York, and Arte Fiera in Bologna, Italy. And she recently completed The Spin Cycle for Whole Foods World Headquarters and Mandala Constellation for the Dell Children’s Hospital. Her work appears in many prestigious collections including the Marino Golinelli collection in Bologna, Italy. In 2007, she was nominated for the Texas Prize, and won the juror’s award for the 2007 Texas Biennial.



Pelf Nyok, the author of The Giving Hands, is a grad-student who is trying to save the turtles, the environment and humankind. Charity, conservation and volunteerism are things that are very close to her heart.
pelf-ism is contagious!

6 comments… add one
  • pelf 2008/01/16, 6:38 am

    I’m glad that there are people who love Virginia’s art as much as I do. I love the colours, no doubt, but the idea of using used plastic bags is just gorgeous! :D

    Thanks Jen, for posting it :)

  • domestika 2008/01/15, 12:05 am

    I know, Mary Emma, you were just dazzled by the colours… ;)

    I agree, Virginia Fleck’s madalas would be inspirational for the makers of art quilts, in particular — it’s so good of you to want to share the bright happy colourful joy with your Quilting and Patchworkreaders!

  • Mary Emma Allen 2008/01/14, 11:05 pm

    I see, if I’d read more carefully, that this was Pelf’s discovery. Thank you both. I just visited Virginia’s web site. Spectacular work featured there. I think I’ll have to tell my Quilting and Patchwork readers about it! Even though it’s not fabric art as we traditionally think of it, Virginia combines color vividly and uses the mixed media approach.

  • domestika 2008/01/14, 12:03 am

    @Claudia, that’s how I feel about it – I’ve got a fabric collage that makes me feel the same soul-brightening effect.

    @Mary Emma, I wish I could take credit for this find, but it’s all Pelf’s sharp “eye for the gorgeous” that’s at work here! :)

  • Mary Emma Allen 2008/01/13, 11:59 pm

    This is simply fascinating, Jen. Thanks for finding it and sharing it.

  • Claudia 2008/01/13, 12:49 pm

    It’s the colors that attract me (as well as the idea behind the art) – so bright, exotic. I love colors, the more the better, it’s like balm to the soul, especially on a gray winter’s day! Lovely! Thanks for sharing this!

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