This is for Kenichi Wada, who spent some time on the Gold Coast a few years ago.
In recent postings I have shown the progress of various wattles coming into bloom. Laurie caught me ducking my head under the Cootamundra wattle that cascades over the garden path. The weight of the blossom causes the branches to bend considerably lower at this time of year. It is almost in full bloom.
Yesterday, Ikebana International held its second weekend workshop for this year. The leader of the workshop was Mrs Yukako Braun, the head of the Ikenobo School in Melbourne. The theme for Yukako's workshop was 'Freestyle' ikebana focusing on shape. The participants were sent some photographs of arrangements demonstrating the following basic forms: Circle, triangle, square, vertical, horizontal, slanting, cascading and gathering.
I decided that the theme of a square shape would be interesting. It was an opportunity to contrast the geometric lines that can be made with 'umbrella grass' and the natural lines of Japanese Flowering Quince Chaenomeles, which is flowering in the garden at the moment.
As you can see my 'squares' are rather rectangular and a bit out of shape. I ran out of time and was not able to encourage the top left corner to make a 'right angle'.
The photo was taken after the critique. At the critique Yukako commented that, from an Ikenobo perspective, the more naturalistic elements of an arrangement should harmonise with the 'creative' freestyle aspect. Therefore in this case the branches of the Flowering Quince should be bent at angles to harmonise with the shapes made by the umbrella grass. This has been done to some extent in the photographed work. I think the principal branch is altogether too stiff and straight and was therefore a poor choice of branch on my part. It was really interesting to participate in the workshop and listen to Yukako's introductory presentation as well as the critique. Next week I will provide a link to the Ikebana International blog when it is published.
In the mean time if you are in Melbourne between Tuesday next 24th and Sunday 30th visit the Ikebana International Exhibition at the Level One foyer, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins.
Greetings from Christopher
22nd July 2018