Early last year my partner Laurence went to a lecture and demonstration of the art of Japanese woodblock printing at the National Gallery of Victoria. There he met Mrs Toyama from the Japanese Information and Cultural Centre at the Consulate in Melbourne. He told her about our forthcoming trip to Japan where I was the to be the recipient of the Norman and Mary Sparnon Endowment Scholarship. As a result of their conversation Mrs Toyama invited me to create some ikebana for the JICC art display area. So, for the next month I will create a new ikebana there each week. Because the display area is a cabinet with six bays I decided to broaden the context of the work by including ceramics from my collection. I have included six vessels by Japanese ceramic artists and six by Australian ceramicists.

The first two pictures art general views of the display case.

The vessels shown are, starting from the right hand side, by:
‘Daiseigama Kiln’ (Otsuka Kuninori), Mahsiko. Brown glazed bottle, turquoise splash. Yutaka Nakamura, Echizen. Grey box vessel.
Pippin Drysdale, Perth W.A. Tanami Traces Series vase. Ray Pearce, Bendigo Vic. Bowl with turquoise decoration.
Toyofuku Hiroshi, Okayama. Bizen style faceted vase. Mituru Miyoshi, Okayama. Bizen style cylindrical wall vase.

Makoto Arikawa, Tokyo. Silver glaze vase. Tadao Akutsu, Mashiko. White bottle with black splash.
Ian Jones, Gundaroo NSW. Vase, wood fired ash glaze. Sergio Sill, NSW. High shouldered vessel. Woodfired shino glaze.
Alister Whyte, Warburton Vic. Porcelain Ikenobo style vase. Graeme Wilkie, Qdos Gallery, Lorne Vic. Woodfired ikebana vessel.

I decided to make the first ikebana in this beautiful faceted  bizen style vase by Toyofuku Hiroshi that I bought in Okayama. You can see other examples of his work at:

I have made a simple freestyle arrangement using camelia leaves and a white chrysanthemum. I chose these materials as they have to last seven days in an office environment. The work is freestyle and required a great deal of trimming of the principal branch. I have removed about two thirds of the original. As you can see I have turned the vase around so that the largest surface gives a strong appearance to the work.

Next week I will use a different vase by an Australian ceramicist.

Greetings from Christopher.
9th June 2012

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