Ishinomaki, Fukishima, Japan

Tape Art Crew: Michael Townsend, Leah Smith

In 2011 the Fukushima region of Japan was devastated by the harrowing combination of an earthquake, a tsunami and ultimately a full blown nuclear reactor meltdown. Over 350,000 people were evacuated to temporary housing and as of Fall of 2014, over 90,000 have yet to locate a permanent home.

In November 2014 the Tape Art crew finally got the opportunity to work with this population in a community located in the city of Ishinomaki, where we created a mural on the side of the community’s meeting building. At the suggestion of the community leader the mural celebrated fish as a reflection of the central role fishing plays in northern Japan’s industry.

The mural includes portraits of a family living in that community. The three figures walk peacefully through a submerged forest surrounded by fish that float between the trees. The young girl turns and touches one of the fish, seeing through it to its ominous skeletal interior.

Submerging (2014)
Buffalo Caverns (2014)

Buffalo Caverns
Buffalo, New York
Tape Art Crew: Leah Smith, Michael Townsend, Kristen Carbone

The first commissioned piece of the Albright-Knox Contemporary Art Gallery's new public art initiative. On the side of the Buffalo Public Library, this mural follows adventurers as they brave the strange dark places of a cavern system. Revealed in the pools of light from their flashlights are various subterranean spaces leading down one by one until a rope ladder leads them up through a huge cavern (rose window) and out into the open air.

Athens Cat (2014)

Athens Cat
Athens, Greece
Tape Art Crew: Michael Townsend, Leah Smith

This small drawing on the back of an abandoned house is our first experiment with die-cut tape shapes. The cat skeletons have the clean cut edges of a machine, which are complimented by the rough hand-ripped edges of their outlines. It is a nice play between the interior and exterior lines of our traditional Tape Art silhouettes.

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