Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Hello all,
There has been a lot of ikebana related activity lately and I'm almost ikebana'd out - almost but not quite. In preparation for tomorrow's classes, after I had prepared 8 arrangements, I was cleaning up the buckets that held old and decaying material and, as I went to throw it out, I found a piece of strelitzia nicolai leaf that was changing colour beautifully and I could not discard it. It inspired me and I found the energy to make just one more arrangement. The problem was, I had no more surface area left on which to display it. Anyway, here it is-

I recently ran a workshop for our group where the participants were asked to create an arrangement referencing a particular work of art. I asked them to think carefully and express their own feelings or impressions about the art piece, which were purely personal. It was fascinating to see the different interpretations of the exercise. I am including the three examples I prepared for the workshop but I recommend that you visit the Sogetsu School of Ikebana, Victorian Branch to see all the work by the participants.

For my examples I wanted to use a piece of art that I could transport to the workshop, so I chose these brass Japanese Macaque monkeys, which were an impulse buy when I was in Japan. In the arrangement below I wanted to capture the feeling of the protectiveness of the adult monkey towards the child, so I used this curved pussy willow. It also reminded me of the frost on the fur of the monkeys when they bask in the hot springs during winter.

This next painting is called 'The Last Stand of Benkei' by a manga artist, Hiromitsu Tekada. The most striking feature of this work is the violence, which I tried to represent by the use of the sharp bulrushes and New Zealand flax.

I have long admired Gustav Klimt's work but I recently saw the movie called 'Woman in Gold' and was quite inspired by the story. So I decided to reference his painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer for my next arrangement. I think it speaks for itself.

My very large Streletzia nicolai was a little overgrown and in need of cutting back. This was an opportunity not to be missed, so I suggested to my students that we all workshop the huge leaves that I cut away. For that lesson we also had the pleasure of the company of two guest ikebanists from Canada, who were visiting here and wanted to have a lesson with me. Eleanor Heath and Leonora Duffield seemed to enjoy using the leaves that were quite new to them. Both ladies were generally impressed by the variety of material with which we are blessed.

Eleanor and Leonora


The following pieces are my examples -
Wall arrangement
A very long leaf starting to unfurl.
The same leaf a week later
in a wall arrangement
With clivia
And the students' work -

Bredenia Raquel

Bredenia Raquel

Janette Fonda

Robyn Unglik

Robyn Unglik
Nicole McDonald

Aurelia Dong

I leave you with this arrangement emphasizing straight lines.
Bye for now,

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