|Mary Fulton, me and Vickie Hearnshaw in Mary's garden|
I returned from New Zealand on Sunday evening and hit the ground running. Having been absent for ten days, there are a myriad chores awaiting my attention, not the least of which is preparation for the Sogetsu annual exhibition next week. (More about that further down)
Lucy and I started our trip a couple of days earlier than we needed to be there, together with our partners to have a short holiday in Christchurch. Once our men left, we were picked up by Vicky Hearnshaw of the Christchuch chapter and were taken to Mary's house. There, we were treated to a delicious lunch then were taken on a walk around Mary's magnificent garden to select materials for the workshops. It's a garden of several acres with an amazing selection of plants. Apparently it was established by a couple who owned a nursery. It's a garden that would be the envy of any ikebanist. Lucy and I could not get enough of discovering new and unfamiliar plants, as well as some we grow ourselves but not nearly as successfully as Mary. As a gardener myself, I'm well aware of the amount of work required to maintain such a large garden.
The next morning we were picked up by Vickie again and driven to the church hall where we met a small but enthusiastic group of Sogetsu ikebanists.
Our first workshop had the theme from Book 5 - 'Improving Your Technique - In a Suiban without Kenzan'.
Below is my demonstration piece in which I used larch branches, hydrangea macrophylla and New Zealand flax. This was the first time I came across Larch and was quite surprised that it is a deciduous conifer. Its green needles turn golden yellow in Autumn and drop to the ground.
|An example I had prepared before the workshop|
|The demonstration piece that Lucy completed|
|Lucy, showing Cecile the wiring technique with young Tina, who's just a beginner|
next to her
|Check out the concentration!|
It is not possible to visit Christchurch and not be affected by the devastation that hit the city seven years ago. It's one thing to hear about such tragedies in the media and quite another to witness them.
I can't finish this post without mentioning Lucy's invaluable contribution to the entire trip. She is very talented, experienced and a born organizer and is excellent at anticipating what is needed during a demonstration. She was very helpful, also, to those members that needed a little bit of personal help. Her presence there meant that the organizers did not have to worry about providing me with an assistant. I'm extremely grateful that she came along, also, as my sister and companion for those times not involved with Ikebana.
And now for our upcoming exhibition. It will be held at
Hawthorn Town Hall Gallery,
360 Burwood Road, Hawthorn.
From Tuesday 5th June until Wednesday 13th June.
9.00 am until 5.00 pm.
I hope to see many of you there.
Bye for now,