This week I set my students the exercise of making an installation work. The purpose of the exercise was to make a 'sculptural' work that used for it's reference point something within the class room or part of the room itself, the ceiling, walls, floor, doors or windows. Ellie Welkamp made the work below relating to a table. She added some wooden frames as well as the botanical materials. 
Nola Bird first made a strong sculpture using two chairs that she place on a table. She then added the lilies in this naturalistic contrast to the feeling of the chair sculpture.
This work takes the venetian blinds as the reference point. Maureen Duffy created a small, very carefully detailed sculpture using skewers and plastic to which she added some pink azaleas.
Using the window frame as her starting point Helen Quarrell created a work using dried materials, with wine glasses suspended on string in which she placed jasmine. 
Here, Janine McLean has used a chair as her starting point and used bamboo to emphasise the geometry of the chair as well as create a relationship with it to the wall.
I created this classroom exercise because at the end of the month we will be having an exhibition at the Qdos Gallery in Lorne (25th September to 9th October). The theme of this years exhibition will be installation work only (that is no ikebana in vases). Well I think the students are off to a good start.

On Sunday 4th September I gave an illustrated talk about my recent three months at the Sogetsu Headquarters as the Norman and Mary Sparnon Endowment Scholarship recipient. In the afternoon I lead a workshop entitled 'Having in mind water'. I began with an explanation of my idea, saying that we can indicate water by: 1. the materials we use (waterlilies or reeds for example). 2. revealing the water itself (showing the surface in a suiban or using a glass vase). 3. representing water by the form of the arrangement.

In this arrangement below I was endeavouring to create the impression of ripples spreading on the surface of water. As you can see I have used concentric circles of bird's nest fern and taken the work outside the suiban. 
In this example I have tried to suggest falling rain which is splashing on a hard surface. The vase is of hand-built ceramic in the Bizen style that I bought in Okayama at the end of April.

Greetings from Christopher 4 September 2011


  1. Christopher, As usual I am amazed by your inventiveness. Love the splashing of the rain arrangement. Your students are so creative. Thanks for your weekly blog / arrangements. Best, Michael

  2. I learned how much important to observe the daily things carefully from your work!. I guess the splashing of the rain arrangement can be interpreted as "Paying attention to the container and the place where the arrangement will be put"
    Thanks for your blog.