Tamar Orell Petler turned — as many of us often do — to nature for solace during Covid, especially when her beloved father, Izack Alkalay, passed at age 102 from the virus in November 2020 in Israel, just before a vaccine was available.
She kept taking photographs and found that after over a year, her work could constitute her very first solo exhibit at Pine Manor College, Chestnut Hill, where Petler is the graphic designer and staff photographer.
The photos create a triptych: “Quarantine, Grief, Regrowth” will be in two rooms (the first room with the first two chapters and then a second room around the corner for “Regrowth”). Eight by eight-inch and 8 by 10-inch framed color prints will hang on the walls but also a journey of small photos will be suspended on a line from the ceiling, a bit like a movie.
Petler was born in Israel and grew up in Haifa. She studied photography in college and then took off in her 20s for two years to backpack into India, Thailand, Japan and China, Nepal and Tibet, exploring with her camera, deciding on return that graphic design with photography would be an integral part of her career. She had run her own business of graphics, video and advertising before she started working with all these media a decade ago for Pine Manor College.