Tsunami Meets Pine – Hope & ART Emerge

‘Kachou Fuugetsu’‘Experience the beauty of nature’… and learn more about yourself by doing so

DON AND ERA FARNSWORTH "Sacred Pine," 2011, 23.75"x17.75" - $150 Pigment inkjet print on rag paper Proceeds help fund Direct Relief International's rebuilding efforts in Japan.

The world recently marked the one year anniversary of 2011 Touhoku earthquake.  Sacred Pine print depicts a pine tree in Rikuzentakata, Japan, a coastal city almost completely flattened by the tsunami following the quake. Incredibly, this single pine was left standing from a grove of more than 70,000 trees. Originally planted as a windbreak to keep salt and sand from blowing in from the sea and wreaking havoc in the fields, the rows of pines known as Takata-Matsubara stretched along two km (a mile) of beach and were one of the most famous sites of northern Japan. Planted three centuries ago; the tree had emerged as a symbol of hope and renewal in an otherwise devastated region.

But all is not well with the last pine according to a recent Reuters article. The 250-year-old pine tree is dying, a victim of the salt water left in the ground by

Pine tree in Rikuzentakata, Japan - REUTERS

the tsunami. There has been talk of preserving it where it stands, even if it were to die, as a memorial, but that looks unlikely to happen given the need for much more pressing reconstruction work. Efforts to save at least part of the tree for future generations are beginning to emerge.

California artists, Donald and Era Farnsworth, have often worked together

California Artists - DON AND ERA FARNSWORTH

in printmaking with the idea that individual trees, in their exact locations and space and time, provide for the viewer aesthetic and philosophical contemplation. Their work “Sacred Pine” is an example of their collaborative effort. Era Farnsworth adds, “our work incorporates ancient Japanese papers and new, but handmade Western ones. We employ traditional as well as new, high-tech methods of creating imagery…in our tree pieces we present the image of a single tree, along with the tree’s precise latitudinal and longitudinal location, altitude and the date and time at which we discovered and documented the tree’s image.”

The future of this symbol of hope and renewal is unclear.  The ARTprojectA proceeds from your purchase of “Sacred Pine” will be directed to help fund Direct Relief International’s rebuilding efforts in Japan.

Pine tree in Rikuzentakata, Japan - REUTERS

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