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Drawing Room SF

Tsunami March

Tsunami March

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Zoe Ani

Watercolor, walnut ink, thread, on paper supported with interface, hung on bamboo through sleeves made of cotton fabric and sewn with cotton thread.

Approx 3ft x 14ft


 I began this painting in March of 2012 during my residency at the Vermont Studio Center. That month was the one year anniversary of the 9.03 Tōhoku earthquake and the tsunami that followed. It also coincided with the one year anniversary of the passing of my sister. She chose to leave, and the internal devastation felt by those left behind was all engulfing.

 That day, I was in my studio, intentionally avoiding work and hard feelings. I was perusing the internet, and there were many pictures of Japan and the destruction that followed. Among those images, several kept popping up: the aerial views of the debris floating in a clinging mass; a gigantic pile of clothes lined up just below a range of mountains; and several shots of a project to salvage family photographs that were recovered in the aftermath, drying in rows on clothing lines.It was strange to see an event of such magnitude limited to a small screen, and I sought to reconcile that by tapping into my own grief with the tools I have. I created a compilation of these images into a large painting with the intent of reflecting the enormity of what happened and the loss that occurred.

 *The images referenced were from the Associated Press and the US Navy. The photo project that was spearheaded shortly after the tsunami by Fuji Film is titled The Photo Rescue Project.

 **The photo project that was spearheaded shortly after the tsunami by Fuji Film is titled The Photo Rescue Project. More information can be found at:

 *** Special thanks to Jane Lee, Mike (Mac) McNamara, Dioanna (Dee) Deem, Jordan Vail, Joe Mangine, Kelly Hemphill, Erin and Jim Stack and the folks at Fabric Outlet and The Drawing Room.

 I began drawing as a teenager in southern Oregon. I developed my skills in drawing during my travels and forged a unique art education by pursuing opportunities to learn and work in alternative settings. I began painting at The Art Students League in New York City from 1998 – 2002. I worked primarily in oil and continued to pursue my craft in a tiny studio in Brooklyn, NY. In 2005 I transitioned from working in oil to encaustic painting after attending a workshop at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina.


The transition from oil to beeswax required more space to breathe. The natural inclination for expansion and a shift in perspective brought her full circle back to the west coast after twelve years in New York City. I have immersed myself in my current surroundings working out of a studio located in the Dogpatch neighborhood in San Francisco, CA.

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