This week I attended the first meeting of Ikebana International (Melbourne) for 2015. Members are encouraged to create ikebana at the meetings, according to a particular theme. February's theme was 'Memories of Summer Holidays'. I have lived in the seaside town of Torquay, Victoria since childhood and so the first thing that springs to my mind of summer holidays is the beach. However, I learnt a long time ago that a beach is more than sand, water and sunshine. On the exposed cliff tops are wonderful works of nature as you can see below.
In this photo, above, at the edge of the low cliff is a clump of silver-grey cushion bush * (leucophyta brownii).
On the sand dunes is found marram grass *(Ammophila), a species from the coasts of the North Atlantic Ocean, that has now naturalised in many parts of the world where it has been used to 'stabilise' sand dunes. I took the photo above on the east coast of Tasmania in 2011.
Also on the cliff face are found Moona trees (Melaleuca lanceoleta), a low growing tree that develops remarkably twisting branches in the prevailing winds that are a climatic feature of this region.
At the I. I. meeting I was given the task of explaining my interpretation of the theme and demonstrating how I created my ikebana to express my ideas about the theme. First I had to create a support fixture so that a Moona branch 'floated' across the top of the vase. In this instance I used a single length of dowel at a 45 degree angle into the vase that rested on the lip of the opening and which I inserted into the branch. Then I added carefully bundled groups of Cushion Bush, followed by the seed heads of Marram Grass that I had wired together.
Greetings from Christopher
14th February 2015
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