Last week I attended the final workshop of the Sogetsu School, Victorian Branch, for this year. It was lead by Lara Telford, one of the Melbourne based teachers. She challenged us to choose one of the four Iemotos (Heads of the School) and create an ikebana work based on his or her style. 

In her preamble Lara made some observations that I found particularly interesting. This included that: 

  • an artist's style is that 'thing' which makes you recognise a particular work as being by a particular artist even when viewed from a distance; 
  • that material is not the same as style; it is the way an artist uses material that reveals their style; and 
  • artists express something of themselves in their work.

I chose to take the present Iemoto, Akane Teshigahara, for my inspiration because I think two things that characterise her ikebana are, the use of abundant materials and her focus on fresh floral material. The question that arises is how do you do this and maintain a feeling for the intrinsic qualities of ikebana?

I have used some branches of Bursaria spinosa  that has masses of very small white flowers. These branches were just coming into flower, so they were not quite ready. I have added some dark mauve and white chrysanthemums and dietes bicolour. The mass on the left is balanced by the line on the right and spaces within the arrangement. See more photos from the Sogetsu Melbourne * workshop.

The deep potbellied vessel is by Isabella Wang * a Melbourne based ceramic artist.

Greetings from Christopher

5th December 2015

* Click on the blue text for further information

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