December 06 Newsletter » Inversion
The Inner Landscape of the Working Process of Emma Tapley

painting by Emma Tapley



One moon
in every pool;
in every pool
the one
—From “A Zen Forest: Sayings of the Masters”

Emma Seiki Tapley, a member of  the Village Zendo, is an award-winning painter and photographer whose work is usually on view at the Fischbach Gallery in the heart of the well-known Chelsea Art district. However,  from October 26 to November 25, an exhibition of Emma’s latest work graced our zendo walls, and Emma and her gallery have generously donated a major portion of the show’s proceeds to Village Zendo.

At the October 26 opening reception of  the exhibition, entitled “Inversion,” people stood  quietly in front of paintings  and photographic prints  that depict a natural world and its twinned reflection: forest branches reflect in a pond sparkling  with sunlight; delicate reeds bend to their own image in a watery world of mirrored sky;  radiant clouds sweep along  … going from where to where we do not know.  Looking at Tapley’s work can be compared to experiencing a visual haiku.

When asked about viewing her images in the context of the zendo, Emma said: “It’s like coming home. Seeing the work here awakened self discovery. I didn’t realize before, how much my Zen practice has influenced my work, so it makes complete sense to me for it to be here.”

Commenting further  on her “studio practice,” she said, “painting is like zazen for me: when I paint I try to follow my breath, pay attention to the very activity of painting, to knowing when to take a break …. “

Emma sits zazen every morning. “After sitting what to do becomes so clear: just do and don’t waste time.”  

Looking at her work, it is beautifully clear that she has not wasted a moment.

Emma Seiki Tapley at the Opening Reception of her benefit art exhibition at Village Zendo. 


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