Saturday, 28 March 2015

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show

The  photographs above, taken by me, are two views of my exhibit at this year's MIFGS.

This artistic shot was taken by professional photographer and all-round lovely girl, Stevie van der Chys (

Hello all,

I apologize for this long break between posts but, to say that I've been busy, would be a gross understatement.

On the 8th March I ran a special workshop along the lines of Kawana sensei's classes that I attended in Tokyo.

I provided each student with three different kinds of materials with which they were work. No two students had the same materials.They could choose from my many containers and make  an arrangement of their choice. After discussion and critique by me, they were to photograph the arrangement and disassemble it. They were then to make another arrangement with the same material and using a different container of their choice. The aim was to make as many arrangements as possible using only a finite number of fresh materials. Thus, towards the end, students had to be very creative with the very small pieces of materials they had left. The workshop ran from 10.00am until 3.00pm with a break for lunch. In such a lengthy workshop we can tap into the creative juices that usually kick in and push ourselves to achieve so much more than in a two hour class.

I felt the workshop was very successful and the feedback I got from the participants was very positive. So much so, that I have decided to run such a workshop twice a year.

I was kept very busy going from student to student so that I was not able to photograph all the arrangements but I wanted an example of one student's work from start to finish. I chose Lucy's work because she is my most senior student but also for convenience because she is my sister and we live together. Considering Lucy took the photos on her mobile phone, the quality is not too bad.

Lucy's material was a branch of Japanese maple, three young Gyamea leaves and three sun flowers. Her arrangements are in the order they were made.

Leaf hanging over the edge of the

Bird's eye view

On 4th March, for class I provided leaves from my garden for my students to use, as their theme was Book 4, Lesson 2 - 'With Leaves Only'. Below is my example.

Front view 
I used 2 Strelitzia Nicolai leaves, 3 bromeliad leves and 5 calla lily leaves.
Bird's eye view

On 10th of March we had our Ikebana International chapter's 56th birthday meeting. The highlight was our speaker, Associate Professor Dr David Finkelstein, head of the Parkinson's Disease Laboratory at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health at Melbourne University.

After hearing his interesting talk we were asked to interpret the theme 'White Matter, Grey Matter' in our ikebana arrangements. I did the arrangement below using two hydrangeas to represent the two cerebral hemispheres and wisteria vines to represent the brain synapses firing. I also used some pink sedum for balance.

Front view

Side view

On 11th March I attended my normal class with Elizabeth, who, very kindly, supplied all of us with cumquats from her laden tree. Below are my arrangements. 

I created two 'surfaces with the contorted willow
and placed them one in front and the other at the back.
the cumquats are in between.

Bye for now and a very Happy Easter to all those celebrating it.

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