Acrylic painting 24″ x 24″ on canvas by Mary Lou Dauray

My painting, “This Land is No-Man’s Land”, depicts a segment of destroyed and abandoned land in the Japanese Fukushima Prefecture. The earth and people there sadly suffered the devastating effects of three destructive forces in March of 2011: a 9-point earthquake; a tsunami wave that some speculate reached as high as 130 feet; and a down pouring of nuclear radiation fallout following massive explosions and melt-downs at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plants. Chaos, along with an inefficient system of monitoring radiation levels, resulted in many families being divided up or evacuated to places where the contamination was even greater.

Today, five years later, the many thousands who survived the destruction have been unable to return to their hastily abandoned homes and farms primarily because of the presence of high levels of radioactivity. The entirety of Fukushima prefecture has been contaminated to where all of it must be declared a radioactivity management area. Indeed, while centered on Fukushima, parts of Chiba and Tokyo have also been contaminated. This highly contaminated dead zone is also causing a diminishment of the birds and butterflies, and the disturbing presence of radioactivity can be found in wild animals and as well as in plants and trees.

While painting the piece, I used what I felt reflected colors of radiation: fluorescent green and pink.  I collaged painted segments of cut paper to represent damaged trees. The abandoned house, also collaged onto my canvas, depicts an actual home in the area.

In my opinion there is no safe nuclear. Alternative energy sources do not cause genetic damage and deaden the earth the way radioactive contamination does. Globally we are hopefully transiting from fossil burning and nuclear power to obtaining energy from non-damaging sources. Please support the development and research of clean wind, solar, hydroelectric and thermal power.  Also, one way to reduce energy usage is to conserve.

I welcome comments and please visit my website at www.maryloudauray.com.